Friday, December 18, 2015

Krishna and Radha - Part I

A threepart bas-relief as unusual room devider with figures from the Indian mythology

Next week is holiday season and possibly you can get some minutes free to read this, about my largest work I have carved so far and - for me - one of my most beautiful works: a huge triptych, again hand carved from  massive pine wood. It is called Krishna and Radha, one of the most reknown couple from the Hindu pantheon.
As already mentioned it is a triptych, can be separated completely into 4 pieces and is connected by brass hinges.

 "Krishna and Radha",
 Indian style triptych,
 hand carved, massive pine wood, 
 85" x 93" x 7", 65 kg

How I came to this motif? Well - I have always loved and still do fairy tales and legends from the world. I love this TV series "Grimm" which of course has nothing to do with the Grimm's Märchen my mother always read me from when I was a little child and I love all sorts of tales about vampires and witches but only if it's written in good style and thrill. Such as from Anne Rice. I just love her novels. No less tantalizing are the tales of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, the two biggest epics of Indian literature with all their gods and goddesses and their only too human weaknesses. Their characters and personalities are completely different from those of German legends where you always have the feeling to see that finger warning you that you will be punished for wrong doing. Always.
The figures of the Indian mythology represent for me exuberant joy of life per se. There are numerous figures in  European art also which represent this kind of feeling but somehow I feel more attracted to the exotic of the unfamiliar.

After a lot of research to find the right motif I finally made the drawings, 1:1 for the copy on the wood. After I realized how big this paravent was going to be I had to decide what kind of wood I would use. For practical reasons I decided to use pine wood again with an even grain. This would make the carving work easier if you don't have to adapt from rather soft parts to hard parts and vice versa all the time. Normally you need to remove all the knotholes and replace them with pieces of wood - and pine wood can have a lot of them - but I found enough boards without too many of them.

 I wanted to create with this work not only a "common" paravent but something very special, a unique piece of art that you would not find anywhere else. Until this day I had already created two other hand carved paravents but these had been varnished in dark colours in classical manner. With this work I wanted to create something entirely different.

An interior designer and artist from the south of France gave me the idea. Dark wood work is only then really beautiful and not overwhelming if you combine it with really white walls as it is typical for the southern regions of Europe. In the North you need something more cheerful. No wonder interior designers from Northern Europe often use untreated pine wood for furniture designs. Therefore I decided to treat the finished work with a stain that made the wood look like old ivory. More about this later....


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