Artist at work

Producing Mexican Roots

Design stage

This was inspired by the folkloric ballet dancers in Mexico. I wanted to get across the full dresses and the sense of movement. I originally had an idea of painting a fiesta scene on the bottom of the dress with flags coming out of the waist.

The sculpture is in Raku clay - chosen for strength. She is coil built in the body and then 2 slabs connected for her dress in a very touch and go enterprise.










Prior to bisque firing at 1000oC

After exploring the Futurist movement I was quite taken with  Boccioni's picture of "The street enters the house". I wanted to have a go at painting a whole street scene on the canvas of her dress, using a cubist style. First I attempted some paintings on flat sheets to see what I could do.
Not feeling very successful at creating a whole picture look I then had a brain wave of using stripes on the dress (since most of the dresses I was painting contained stripes.) I tested this with bits of paper. I then had the idea that each stripe could represent a layer of Mexican life. 

I had written a story "Mexican Roots" after returning from Mexico and meeting a number of teachers and I used this to create the ideas behind each layer.










 Painting with acrylic paint.

I painted three layers representing ancient culture, land and present culture. I intended to do a fourth layer which featured architecture of the churches, symbolising the invasion of the church into Mexican culture - but I ran out of time.

I later put a shortened version of the story "Mexican Roots" into a brochure which went with the finished piece, and purloined it as the title of my piece.

The lace was an afterthought - after my mother-in-law said that the interior of the piece let the whole thing down. Lace is a big thing with these dresses and goes really well in contrasting with the smooth sculpture - a feminine touch and it makes you want to touch it!


 Gallery Exhibitions Artist at Work

Contact Sue Stack at sue.stack 'at'   (replace 'at' with @)         Available for commission