Painted on board with plaster and acrylic. 1998
Back in 1992 I was at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London getting my Public Art degree. For my thesis I explored the issues concerning zoos. During this journey I discovered a gallery that was showing some interesting abstract work. When I realized these pieces were executed by chimpanzees and gorillas I was amazed and intrigued. This led me to a chimp sanctuary in Leicestershire call Twycross Zoo. This zoo houses many former performer chimps that have been used in commercials and movies. The chimps paint in their human like environment for the same reason we paint in our human zoo, for pleasure and escape! I encouraged the zoo owner to allow me the chance to paint with this 4 year old chimp named Flynn. (Pictured below without the green shirt) It was so interesting to watch him with full concentration choose his colors carefully and with deliberate strokes he applied the paint to create some really compelling pieces. One looked like a chimp on his mother’s back strolling through the forest. The other resembled a luscious forest adorned with colorful fruit. Painting with Flynn raised many questions about art and our close relationships with animals. Hey I could go on, however my thesis was very long! One great fact is that when I was painting with Flynn back in 1992 I was told that I was the 2nd artist in the UK to have painted with a chimp and felt really honored for this opportunity.
Here is series 2 for our entry into the finals for the British Hairdresser’s Awards. Our two themes almost won! You can see series 1 here and learn more about the project.
Series 2 – Sealife
The body painting and plastered backdrop were painted with Acrylics. The Coral was created out of sculpted and painted styrofoam. The hair piece was made out of pipe cleaners, wire, colorful hair pieces and Molton Browners.
This look was created with long hair pieces that were styled and applied to sculpted hessian. The plastered backdrop, muslin and body were painted with Acrylics.
This magnificant octopus was created with plumber’s pipe chadding, synthetic hair, hessian and wire. The coral was painted and sculpted styrofoam. The textured plaster backdrop and body were painted with Acrylics.
The whale’s tail was created by wrapping hair around a hessian shape that was made with wire hangers. The body, draped muslin and textured backdrop were all painted with Acrylics.
I worked with Hairdresser Sam Nathan from Martin Gold Salon and Photographer Will White to create this series of photographs for the 1994 British Hairdresser’s Awards. We had to submit 4 photographs that all have a theme. This series shows the “History of the curl” and is inspired by 4 centuries of fine art. Each hair piece was created by Sam. I had not seen the pieces until the actual shoot day. All models are seated in a bent wooden backdrop that I hand painted and textured with plaster. The models bodies were painted with Acrylics to make them look like a painting ( as opposed to a painting to try to look like the model) All props were hand made and painted. Please note that ALL images were not computerized in any way. That was their rule back then.
The British Hairdresser’s Journal who were the judges of this Award for the Avant Garde category chose us for the finalists. They published our picture in their magazine and wrote an article on us. As finalists we had to then create a second series of 4 more photos. You can see series 2 here.
The plastered background and body were painted with Acrylics. The vase was created with chicken wire, paper and painted with Acrylics The hair was sculpted with curled up hair pieces. The whole look was inspired by the 16th Cenutry Artist Bronzino.
The plastered background, draped muslin and body were painted with Acrylics. The high hair shape was created with built up sculpted curls applied to a wire frame. This bold romantic look was inspired by the 17th century artist Rembrandt.
The plastered background, draped muslin and body were painted with Acrylics. The hair piece was created with pipe cleaners, wire and hair. The whole look was inspired by the 19th Cenutry Impressionists Renoir and Monet.
This look was inspired by the expressionist Artist Franz Kline. The hair piece was made to appear like a large brush mark, with the use of sculpted hair pieces applied to shaped hessian. The textured backdrop and body were painted with Acylics.