“Today he may be sitting and rotting in an Israeli cell, but in 2012 Palestinian graphic designer Hafez Omar’s posters were setting the internet alight. On Facebook in particular, his simple, iconic, anonymous brown avatars in support of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel spread like wildfire. People all over social media changed their profile photos to one or other of the male or female versions.” Middle East Monitor.
Almost finished the owl doll, her costume is mainly silk embellished from scraps. The embellishing machine is great for using up even the tiniest of remnants and bits of thread. Embellishing needles get used up (broken) fairly quickly so I always keep a stock. Just a few final touches needed, her limbs and neck and around her face need to be darker .
I’m making another in a series of bird inspired dolls, this one is vaguely based on the Tawny Owl. Button jointed dolls are fairly easy to make, I always follow the pattern and instructions of Jan Horrox, a wonderful and inspiring doll maker, then modify things according to my wish. The most challenging part is to put a face onto the head.
These dolls have needle sculpted faces, which takes some practice, then the features are drawn on with Micron pens and water-based coloured pencils. A steady hand is essential and the results can’t be guaranteed.
Once the face is drawn then it has to be sprayed with artist’s fix, the solvent type. These dolls are more ornamental than play, although I try to make them robust enough for older children. Next stage is to attach the head, then make hair, or in this case feathers of some sort.
I went to London recently for a few days, visiting the galleries. The outstanding expo was at the Barbican – Into The Night where you may, “Explore the history of cabarets, cafés and clubs in modern art across the world, from London to Paris, Mexico City, Tehran, and Ibadan”. A large show with lots of inspiring images.
As usual at this time of year there is a wealth of shows to choose, I didn’t quite manage all of these:
- https://www.estorickcollection.com/ Lithography from Leningrad: Eric Estorick’s Adventure in Soviet Art. 39a Canonbury Square Wednesday to Saturday
- Bridget Riley Hayward Gallery, South Bank
- Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits’ Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair
- Elizabeth Peyton ‘Aire and Angels’ National Portrait Gallery, Charing Cross Road
- Hogarth: Place and Progress Sir John Soane’s Museum
- Nan Goldin: Sirens, Marian Goodman Gallery
My range of self-assembly toys and models – they are both – is now on sale at Basically Wooden. I’m hoping to add two more soon, including this one.
Once in a while I come across work that inspires me to keep trying, keep working at my art. I have been reading, “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse”, by the great American author Peter Matthiessen which tells the story of Leonard Peltier and the FBI’s 1970s and ongoing war on the American Indian Movement. The book was first published in 1983 then suppressed by FBI-sponsored lawsuits for several years. Leonard Peltier is still in prison, recognised around the world as a political prisoner, framed by the FBI and the US judicial system.
Leonard Peltier’s art can be found easily enough on the web, his story continues. The FBI continue to try and suppress his art.
Just finished re-mounting this piece, which is for sale, £380.