Last Stand of a Subconscious Mind

   by Christopher Shuey for Build A Dream (2014)

First I crumpled newspaper to make a landscape form. I used a plastic grocery bag as a release barrier and laid the wet plaster cloth over the form. Then I painted the plaster cloth green as a hillside landscape. Third, I took the packing peanuts and pieces of the sponge to simulate foliage and glued it to he plaster cloth. I took the round dowel and using a utility knife I cut a shoulder 1 1/4 inches from the end and cut the remainder as a square dowel. Using a Gatorade container I cut two circles from the bottom of the box and glued them together, then painted it. The circles were used as the top platform that holds the rock, which is the Van Gaugh ear painted grey, and the main figure. Next, I started to wire the armature for the main figure, I left two wires longer on the legs so that the figure could be secured to the rock. After the figure was built, I put the clay body on the armature and then painted the clay. I then bent wire for the secondary creatures using needle nose pliers. I cut stakes from one of the square dowels and then used wire to use as guide wires for the platform. This also helped to stabilize the platform. I formed two pieces of clay into a sidearm and a limp sword. I cut a small piece of cardstock and folded it over a piece a wire. I used felt markers to add text and color. Lastly I rolled clay between my palms and made snakes.

The theme of my project is a variation on nightmares that I had as I suffered with PTSD from my military service. One of my greatest fears was a weapon malfunction/failure to fire when my life was on the line. This feeling of helplessness and inadequacy haunted me for years. The snakes, well I’m just scared of them. The faceless creatures represents anything that lurks in the darkness of the subconscious.

I have enjoyed this project and intend to enter next year. i bought three kits this year: one for me and two for my nieces. Next year I will add another kit for a friend of mine who is an art teacher in a middle school.