I've been working for the past week on these visors for the Weird Sisters, a walkabout street performance for Galoshins halloween festival.
Combining ideas from the witches in Macbeth, and the classical characters of the Fates, the Weird Sisters are three mysterious women who weave the threads of life, and sing songs of the past, present and future. The three performers are clowns, and the piece has a mock seriousness to it.
In designing the costumes for this performance I knew I wanted to work with the idea of second sight, by focusing on the eyes of the characters. The Weird Sisters exist outside of time, so I went for a retro-futuristic mash-up of Arts and Crafts, Art Deco, Mayan, Egyptian and Sci-fi to try and get a design which could be from the past or the future. I wanted this part of the costume to draw attention from a distance, to clearly identify the performers amongst other people in the street, and to trigger curiosity in passers by which could lead to engagement. So I went for a shape which distinctly alters the performer's silhouette, a shiny gold surface which stands out at a distance and draws attention to movement, and a simple pattern which focuses around the enlarged eyes.
You can see the making process for the visors, and an explanation of the stages below -
I began by hacking together a rough shape in cardboard - chopping bits off and adding new bits until I had a shape I liked - which I gave to the performers for testing. I then chopped the rough model in half and broke it down into four main pieces. I used these half-pieces to make four symmetrical templates, and a fifth template for the embossed detail. I transferred the template shapes onto 5mm plastazote then cut them out and used contact adhesive to join the pieces together. I engraved detail into the front of the visors using a Dremmel. To seal the surface I coated them all over with five layers of slightly diluted PVA glue and a final coat of white Gesso to provide a good painting surface. I was aiming for an aged, warm, gold effect, so I gave the visors two layers of black acrylic paint, then dry-brushed a mix of gold and crimson paint trying to build a bit of texture, and making sure to leave the black paint visible in recesses, at edges and around details. I then dry-brushed several patchy layers of gold acrylic, this time trying to leave the red-gold and the black visible in areas, and building up more reflective areas on flat surfaces and details. Lastly I dry-brushed a brighter red gold onto the eyes to bring them forward a bit.
I am a Glasgow based visual artist and maker