Friday 8 February 2013

Myth & Magic - New Work

I'm been very busily crafting away over long long hours, having tremendous fun crafting these new creatures. They've gone into the Lion Street Store in Rye, East Sussex today, to be displayed for a wee while.

The theme is Native American Indian animal mythology. I remember the Native American Indians being my favourite topic in history at school and I have vowed for some time now that I would return and investigate it in fabric and paper. They have such a beautiful belief system and such great respect for the animal kingdom. I've loved reading through their myths and stories and plucking out characters to make part of my own work.

First on my list was the Totem Pole, I was so excited to make this! I don't have any connection to these animals, but I wanted to make them part of my pole... and perhaps a story will flow from them eventually.

Totem Pole 85cm high, £1,160.

Each animal is made separately from fabric, then painted and final hand stitch detailing added. I will be making them again as individual Totem Animals ranging from £140 - £170, and as a stacking of 2 for £305. I made a bird, a whale, a fox, a seal, a bear, a wolf and a beaver... I keep changing my mind on the favourite!

Next up was to look at some of the animals in their stories and the main character I wanted to recreate was Trickster... I wanted him to take on the form of a sort of coyote, with thick black fur and no facial features apart from his nose. Who knows what tricks he's scheming in there!

Trickster £255

Then I wanted to use the Eagle and create a wise, spiritual leader of a character and so this is how he turned out.

Eagle £240

And then Little Deer, a graceful, feminine being, soft and gentle and very beautiful. I'm not convinced her attire says 'Native American Indian' but I won't worry, it's all my interpretation of a subject anyway.

Little Deer £225

The way I work in fabric is very damaging to my hands and after the long Christmas making stretch they were completely destroyed, so trying to think of some ways to break up the suffering my hands go through making that work I have been sampling some ideas in paper mache.
I wanted to create some larger animals for this theme which would be so incredibly time consuming in fabric and really ruin my hands stuffing them, but in paper it's so much quicker and easier and so I opted for that instead. I chose a bear and a horse... the horse had to have some ceremonial headdress of course!

Bear £225

Horse £255

And then finally some masks. They're just little ones, but it was fun to craft a nice little assortment of different faces and merge some different styles.

Masks £70-£75 each

So I really have been enjoying myself tremendously and I really hope you'll enjoy them too. Don't worry, I won't be leaving fabric altogether... I just have to break up my time so I'll be able to carry on!
It would be lovely to hear what you think of the new work, I know it's quite a change.


Lizette said...

Abigail, these are beautiful! Love the totem figures as an installation with such distinctive characteristics. I'm very fond of native american art, did a bear totem once, have ideas for future projects as well. And love Trickster. Papier mache sounds like a good break for your hands. I know what you've gone through when there's a flourish of sewing and stuffing ;)

Abigail Brown said...

Thank you Lizette! It's such a fascinating culture isn't it?! And their art is beautiful and so much fun. Wish you luck with yours!x

frédérique from versailles said...

Bravo Abigail for your new creations!You create a very cute world! Next time i'll go to London I'll come to se you (if it's possible).
Sorry for my uggly english, i'm better in french!!
Frédérique from Versailles

Lazy Animals said...

beautiful, beautiful work!

Mrs Fox said...

love them Abigail, really beautiful!

teresa murfin said...

I'm in love with your new work, it's absolutely beautiful! The papier mache animals are great, I'll have to put one of your masks on my wish list :)