Cat, Mouse & Bird Trellis. Mixed-media wall piece, 2019.

Cat, Mouse & Bird Trellis. Mixed-media wall piece, 2019.

Here are some photographs of a recently completed wall-piece.

The Cat...

I was commissioned to make a piece involving cats. The design was inspired by medieval decorative motives such as the inhabited vinescroll, and also by the trellis wallpaper design by William Morris, himself an avid medievalist.

..the Mouse

The wall-piece, in full relief, is made from wood, wire, plaster, clay and sheet copper. The coloured surfaces are in acrylic. Painting these relief pieces is often the most challenging part of the making process. Too polychromatic an approach and the spatial values of the applied colour can start to fight with the actual space of the three dimensional design, resulting in a broken outline, like dazzle camouflage, which is not what I want. But I find myself reluctant to go fully monochrome, like the plain white marble of Classical sculpture. In any case, those pure white museum pieces were apparently brightly painted in reds and blues when new, often with jewels or pearls for eyes. The way I try to resolve the dilemma is by using layers of monochrome glaze over the top of multicoloured surfaces. I also used a lot of bronze, silver and gold effect colours for this piece. Metalic-effect acrylics, as colours in themselves, are more like a physical substance than, say, a deep blue might be. They are therefore quite well-suited for use in three-dimensional work.

Cat, Mouse & Bird Trellis

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