This wire and papier mache sculpture -Shakespeare’s Young Ophelia, is another piece I’ve been working on since our return from Bristol. I worked on this wire and papier mache sculpture at the same time as working on “Scarlett O’Hara. She’s up on Etys and I,should have posted about her yesterday but, I ran out of time.
Ophelia has always been a favourite of mine but I’ve been unsure of how to bring her to life; should I make an assemblage mixed media art dress or should I go the wire and papier mache sculpture route? Having finished her I’m glad I chose the wire and papier mache sculpture option. Strangely enough, my harshest critic – Tom, is quite taken by her; though at first he was not convinced it would work.
My wire and papier mache sculpture version of Ophelia, is inspired by the Pre Raphaelite artist Arthur Hughes’ painting, currently held in the Manchester City Art Gallery. Arthur Hughes was only 19 when he painted Ophelia; it depicts Ophelia as a young girl, innocent and naive. In Shakespeare’s play Ophelia, is driven to madness by Hamlet’s murder of her father and rejection of her love. In Arthur Hughes’ painting we see her minutes before she drowns.
In creating the figure of Ophelia I first made a body from wire and papier mache then, added her hair which is made from soft muslin, cotton and lace which is intricately stitched and gathered and, then falls long down her back. Her nightdress is a beautiful satin, cotton mixture of whites and ivories. Ophelia’s bouquet and the flowers falling from her hand are very strange, like nothing I’ve come across before. They come from a vintage wedding tiara and are made from a wax and mother of pearl, which gives them a very strange fee – soft but firm at the same time. In parts I’ve added gold leaf to act as highlights.
Ophelia is a fictional character in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. She is a young noblewoman of Denmark, the daughter of Polonius, sister of Laertes, and potential wife of Prince Hamlet. As one of the few female characters in the play, she is used as a contrasting plot device to Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude.
More tomorrow? Lets wait and see.
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