Seeing Eileen Agar’s Surrealist sculpture at the Tate Britain inspired me to create my own response in clay and fabric. Agar stated that she wanted to create something that is “powerful…more malign.” Agar’s work can be seen as a statement about women’s place in male dominated surrealism and gender identity. The sculpture is modelled in plaster with found materials attached to the surface; the fabrics are decorative and also suggestive of facial features. The artist was inspired by the African Mask collection in the British Museum, London which she visited regularly with Henry Moore.
I think my clay mask could be developed further by introducing colour and a wider range of found materials, it feels decorative to paint colour over the top of the fabric so in this case I have left colour out. I would like any elements of colour to be within the found material already. I like the reflectiveness of the gloss paint because it is an unusual texture. The mask I have created is fairly androgynous when I set out to create something specifically feminine with the use of hand made textiles, which is traditionally associated with women.