I have been fortunate enough to have studied the Mexican history of papier Mache at the RACC. I took a particular interest in the works of the Mexican artists from the Linares Family. Inspired by their creations, I created a range of my own mythological and fantastical creatures fashioned from papier mache. Please follow the link
to History of Papier Mache
The V & A has exhibited two of my works, one of these being a fantastical bird.
As a British artist, inspired by Mexican alebrijes, my creations became a new generation of fantastical creatures..... and with "Truly a Bird of Paradise" a new and beautiful hybrid was born.......
My Bird of Paradise was also inspired by the Eastern style of bird found in the V & A on kimonos. So in fact this hybrid was a truly multi cultural conglomeration. (see picture below).
You can commission your own "Mexican style" papier mache mythical creature. I always begin the figure with an armature. This is a wire frame bent to the shape required and then reinforced with newspaper. I then add wings, tails, horns, crowns, & any mythical details, these are followed by props, personality and of course panache! However the most important ingredient of all is Imagination!
These figures can be on a stand, part of a tableau or standing on legs. The pieces I have made have varied from Birds of Paradise, Seahorses or Skeletons to Warhammer Orks and Eldars.
|Truly a Bird of Paradise
I was proud to have this papier mache bird displayed at the Summer Exhibition, Parkshot in Richmond 2003 and at The Victoria & Albert Museum in Summer 2004. It was also used by an art teacher as a starting design to make a 5 foot sculpture out of recycled materials at Russell School in Petersham.
This papier mache piece was born when decided I would create a unique mythical bird. I had been studying papier mache for two years and felt that the knowledge I had learnt would surely manifest itself in developing a new fantastical creature. I was fascinated by the idea of a papier mache bird of paradise. Inspired by the mystical birds in the Chinese department of the V & A embellished on kimonos and woven silks, I embarked upon the idea of this sumptuous bird which would represent these Eastern themes.
Mine was to be a peaceful bird, a bringer of harmony and tranquillity. The tail was a necessity for balance as three points are always the best combination for a strong sturdy upright figure."
And so I began the slow and laborious job of painting my papier mache creature. I had decided on blues and purples but to set the colouring off and to create a mystical aura I would need to add a touch of brightness. I experimented with a range of bright, florescent and gaudy colours; pink, lime and canary yellow shone through. I would add small touches of bright dots and lines in these hues to bring the vibrancy alive.
The contrast was just right. I discovered that a smattering of silver in the scales was the perfect shading to give a shimmery opulence. The papier mache Bird of Paradise then had jewelled paint finishes, varnish and glitter added. Finally my creation was finished. It had been a slow, painstaking paint job but it was well worth it. This was the best thing I had ever done. I was so thrilled to see my papier mache piece on display at The Victoria and Albert Museum.Dimensions: 45cm high x 60cm x 30cm
For Sale: Price on application. (Not suitable for sending abroad).Further pictures of the Bird of Paradise can be seen on the following Link.
|Guardian of the Deep
This was my first ever papier mache piece, with detail based on the Mexican
|Alien or Angel
I wanted to create a fun and wacky papier mache alien. The creative mood took me to this eye catching lime figure. He made me laugh and smile a lot!
This figures is approx 20cm height
The process of using an armature can be used to create any papier mache figure of a person or animal. A more realistic approach may be required if you wanted a representative figure to give as a gift.
My son was very keen on Warhammer when he was young. I created this sculpture as a present for him.
Of course the Warhammer creatures have a lot of similarities to Alibrijes.
If you commission a papier mache figure, a sketch or computer imaged design would be provided to agree on detail.
Papier mache figures can be adorned with real clothes made of papier mache or material if you prefer.
You could commission a replica of you and your partner on your wedding day, your favourite character or a precious pet. A recent commission was a couple and their dog; see link to view a couple & their dog portrayed for their anniversary in the form of a clock. Please look at Anniversariesto see further figures.
Papier mache figures work very well as they have a style of their own and suit the medium. I can make figures that are sitting, standing, swimming, skiing or in any position you require. You can have them free standing as an ornament or sitting on a wall. They can be hung from the ceiling or be made into a clock or mirror.
Versatility is the key word here. Your idea can balloon into whatever takes your fancy.