Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Lovely bones

I am enrolled in a 3-D art class which I am enjoying hugely, casting 3-D tissue papier mache into plaster moulds. I had been thinking about casting handmade paper to make some planned works but as soon as I got to the class and saw the tissue papier mache I knew what I really wanted! It has this wonderful bone-like appearance: creamy and slightly translucent, light and strong. I guess it also looks like shell or parchment or other light creamy translucent substances, but it is as bone that it resonates for me.

My facination with bones has its origins in my long slow healing from RSI/OOS, years in which the most effective relief seemed to come from oestopathy. During that time I learned a lot about my spine, and my pelvis and hips, particularly the vertebrae where my troubles radiated out from. I didn't stop suffering relapses however, until I sought treatment and learning from healers who could work with and articulate the links between the physical, spiritual, emotional and mental bodies as well. And then I had to be willing to transform my life completely in response to what I learned before I could consider myself healed.

Transformed into a book artist, I found myself collecting small bones when ever I found them: birds, possums, fish. I wanted to incorporate bones into my work, but have been frustrated by the limitations of working with real bones (too small, to delicate, too few, not human-ish enough to express my relationship with my own skeleton). In tissue papier mache I think I have finally found a material which will enable me to make books about my bones and their teachings.

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