Thursday, 14 February 2013

The angel of the North

In the late 90s there was a lot of controversy in the north of England over a large Antony Gormley sculpture called the angel of the north. This sculpture. Is 20m high , with a 54m wing span and was made from steel for which the area had a long industrial working tradition . According to Gormley it had three purposes, to signify that beneath the site of its construction, coal miners had worked for two centuries, to grap the transition from industrial to infomation age and to serve as a focus for our evoling hopes and fears. Over the years in has rusted as intended and slowly gained a place in people hearts and it has become a symbol for the strength of the people and raw beauty of the area.

This week I have been trying my hand at the beginning of shyrdak felting techniques. This is where a negative and a positive image are made and felted together. This technique comes from Kyrgyzstan. The patterns they make are based on symbols from their culture.

I chose to try and reproduce a symbol based on a rams horn. Here it is as a paper image and before felting

This symbol in the size I was making was a little to complex and it was hard to retain the exact shape. During felting the edges naturally blur making the shape become less distinct.

I looked at it and immediatley thought of the Angel of the north. Multiples of course. Fascinating. From one symbol to another.

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