Work in progress of the model I’m making based on the sketch of a kind of tree tunnel I did last month. The photo is of the basic structure, made from paper, wire, foam and clay. Just waiting for it to dry then it can be painted and have some leaves added and a bit of ‘gothic confectionary’ of some kind – maybe those red liquorice bootlace things that could be transformed into strangling vines, anyway, we’ll see:
Since I first started sketching this idea of some rather malevolent shrubbery I’ve been looking into strange and dangerous growing things and I’ve come across all kinds of weird plantlife. There are these rather sinister thorn apples growing all round the streets here in Berlin for example; tiny amounts can cause powerful hallucinations but also death:
And back at mum’s place in Lincolnshire I took a photo of these vine leaves that had the most wonderful dramatic autumn colour. They’re harmless but they look like the might not be:
But my ‘oh that flower creeps me out’ award this week goes to the Stapelia Gigantea, which was brought to my attention this week by my friend Leonard Greco in Los Angeles who posted a great photo of a specimen he had in flower. The huge blooms have evolved to look and smell like rotting meat to attract the flies that pollinate them. This means after a few days the flowers are often crawling with maggots – eww! If you’re not having your dinner check this out on YouTube. Leonard is also a brilliant artist with a unique and powerful vision, you can see his work on his blog here.
In the last ‘Seeds of Doom’ post I wrote about the Dr. Who episode of the same name, broadcast in the 1970s. But I’ve remembered another Dr. Who story which also included aliens plantlife called Planet of the Daleks, from 1973 which I loved. In the first episode Jo (played by the fabulous Katy Manning) is exploring the jungle planet the Tardis has landed on when she is hit by a jet of fluid emitted by a plant. An ugly fungus starts to grow on her hand and them up her arm. Thankfully, one of the invisible Spiridons who live on the planet cooks up some salve to put on the fungus which cures it, otherwise she would have been completely engulfed – yikes. I was about 8 when I watched this story and I was pretty scared by it!
Since I got back home at the beginning of the week I’ve been making mainly models, both for the Hansel and Gretel promo film and for other side projects too. After a break, I often feel a bit stiff and inhibited when I think about making a new painting, but models and maquettes somehow are easier to get stuck into, you can just get making and the tactile, hands on nature of it helps relive stiffness and stuckness. Here’s my desk at the moment, with a production line of trees on one side. The little lighthouse is a tea light holder that was a gift, and it’s going to be a guide for a lighthouse model for another project. That wonderful mug was also a gift from my stay in Whitstable last weekend – thanks Paul and Phil 😉. I always have to have some tea on the go when I’m working!
Ok, best get back to making some poisonous leaves 😊