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La Dame Aux Camelias En Trois Dimensions

   by Sarah Zaidan for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: Poster for La Dame Aux Camelias

Inspiration Artist: Alphons Mucha

I began by examining the contents of the box, and the inspiration piece, and determining how the former would inform the latter. I divided the inspiration piece into six separate elements: the figure of Sarah Bernhardt, the star background, the title marquee, the balcony railing, the hand and flowers and the base. I will detail how I made each element:

1) Sarah Bernhardt: The figure started out as a wire armature, and I sculpted the head and hands out of Sculpey. I covered the remainder of the armature with Sculpey to have a foundation to build on. By soaking shredded paper in water for several hours, then pureeing it in a blender, removing the excess water and adding white glue, I made a papier mache pulp, which I added to the figure. After this had dried, I added strips of shredded paper to the figure then painted them with white glue mixed with water to finish off the dress. I used Friendly Plastic to make the dress’s cuffs and collar, and canvas fabric to create the wrap, cape and other drapery. These, and the papier mache as well as the figure’s head and hands, were painted with acrylic paints. I added texture to the figure’s wrap with tiny pieces of papier mache pulp, attached with white glue.
2) Star background: I transferred the design onto a thin piece of wood and laser-cut it. After priming the wood with white spray paint, I painted it with acrylic paint and attached it to the base with white glue.
3) Balcony railing: Laser-cut wood left unpainted and attached to the base with white glue.
4) Title marquee: Laser-cut wood accented with acrylic paint and brown ink and attached to the base with white glue.
5) Hand and flowers: I made the hand out of Sculpey over a wire armature. The branch is made of wire, with Sculpey used to attach additional, intersecting pieces of wire. After this was baked, I painted it with acrylic paint and attached leaves made of cut pieces of papier mache pulp and flowers made of Sculpey to it with hot glue. I attached the hand to the base with hot glue.
6) Base: Laser-etched wood, primed with spray paint and painted in acrylic paint.

As this year's theme was to re-invent a work of art, I altered the angle of the piece, in addition to recreating it in three dimensions. By placing the balcony railing in front of Sarah rather than behind her, I evoke the theatrical origins of the inspiration piece by creating the feeling of the separation of an actor from their audience by the stage.

As this year's theme was to re-invent a work of art, I altered the angle of the piece, in addition to recreating it in three dimensions. By placing the balcony railing in front of Sarah rather than behind her, I evoke the theatrical origins of the inspiration piece by creating the feeling of the separation of an actor from their audience by the stage.

 


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