Humal, created 2015, exhibited 2016
Redstart Arts was asked by the Horniman Museum to explore their collection once a month for six months to inspire object making. Cash Aspeek, Redstart Arts founder took part in the Community Worker Training Day that the Horniman provide and used what she had learnt to devise her own project at the museum for the group.
Humal was inspired by both natural figures and by ancient objects found in the Horniman. Over a period of six sessions the Redstart Arts produced a series of figurative sculptures made from found materials that were neither human nor animal but a hybrid of the two.
"My approach is to encourage the Redstarts to explore their own creativity rather than create a series of uniformed work. Thus, each of the works produced reflects the personality of its maker." Cash Aspeek
The starting point for this project began with the Redstarts immersing themselves into the gallery space. The Redstarts produced observational studies of pieces they found of interest in the galleries and then realised their figures through plaster bandage. They then set about exploring textures; discussing how some animals are covered in fur whilst others have feathers or scales and that humans have skin. The Redstarts were very keen to explore the galleries using the collections as inspiration for the ‘skin’ for their figure. One Redstart was fascinated by the scales of a Pangolin and so covered his figure in small pieces of grey rubber, each piece overlapped to form a scale like texture. Another Redstart covered his figure in compost and then carefully hammered nails into it after he was inspired by a Nkondi figure. Furthermore one of the Redstarts rather than covering her figure decided to use a black pen to meticulously cover her figure in drawings, she particularly enjoyed drawing from observation within the gallery.
Each Redstart produced a figure that was very representative of their personalities, likes and dislikes, they enjoyed the freedom of exploration and creativity that they were given. This was poignant for each Redstart, as each seemed extremely proud and happy of the work they produced.
Featured on the Horniman Museum blog here.
The figures have been on display in the window of Sainsburys in Forest Hill, on the way up to the Horniman Museum from Forest Hill station, read about the exhibition here.