Work in Progress- Nightcrawler VI

front view of a sculpture in progress by MJ Seal made from ashes, mildewy bible pages and sackcloth that resembles a monstrous primitive insect

Something from a deep, dark, forgotten sea-

“Nightcrawler VI”- Original sculpture by MJ Seal. Scraps of sackcloth, paper ephemera, wood ash and PVA glue. Approximately 10” x 23” x 5”. C. 2020

This travaux en cours- like so many of my sculptures- began its life as another project I began years ago- half finished- let sit on a shelf- got buried under new projects and essentially forgotten 🙄

A crudely stitched basic form

When I first started his piece I had envisioned it as a humanoid form under some kind of book-like shell. I was thinking of calling it “the penitent “ as it would be made from sackcloth and ashes. The sackcloth was easy to work with – the ashes did not turn out to be the easiest sculpting material and were so chunky and unworkable I decided to let this peace rest.

So years later…

The threads splayed our along the side really look like little bug legs

Having such success with the other Nightcrawlers I decided to try again with some of the scraps of sackcloth that worked so well in my newer works.

I love the “antenna” and trailing threads

I added wadded up bits of paper ephemera over the original form to bulk it up and then took three large bits of raggedy sackcloth and after soaking them in glue water carefully placed them over the base sculpture.

With the three segments of cloth and the tendrils of sackcloth threads this piece rapidly took on the appearance of a trilobite .

I also used the chunks of ashes that were going to be the face and hands of the original sculpture- this time around they became a peculiar eye (?) and perhaps claws (🤔)

From below it looks like the underbelly if some giant grotesque slug

Now that sculpting is complete I am going to let this piece cure for a bit- and it will be ready for skin of paint to really bring it to life 🕷🙃- *Stay Tuned*


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