Silver Crow Project

Intro to Illustration & Animation - Unit 1 - Part 2 (Or Vincent the Skull)

For part 2 of the You Are Here brief we had to give a half PekaKucha style presentation on a proposal for an A1 final publication. No - I had no idea what a PekaKucha was either but the thought of doing a presentation sent shivers down my spine. I hate talking in front of people. A PekaKucha is a presentation done in 20 slides at 20 seconds each. (20x20) It keeps the presentation condensed and more interesting for the viewer. So ours was 10 slides long.

I decided to continue on with the theme I had been working on before of researching environmentally friendly ways to say goodbye to our dead.  I also wanted to move into textiles as I have wanted to experiment in that for a long time. My tutor snuck me into the textiles department, apparently they are very territorial - I didn't even know it was there - it's in a little hidden away secret area. I had a snoop and I was able to quiz the tutor in there, coming out with lots of ideas. We've had talks about how books or publications needn't necessarily be in the form of a physical book and to think outside the box. We had seen an exhibition that was described as a book or publication but the huge 'pages' were hung in such a way that you could walk through with them either side or on the walls - more an installation.

Making Vincent

We were to stay within the A1 parameters which includes any add ons. In other words... maths! Ugh!
I decided I wanted to use natural fabrics and thought hessian was a good representation of earth. Starting off with a piece of hessian... which I very technically measured by laying on top of an A1 piece of card and cutting around it...
Whoopidoo Blog: Carmen Wing -  Making of Vincent the skull - Textile Hanging
Using cling film I covered a resin skull I'd bought especially for this project, it's apparently life sized, and then laid the hessian on top. The cling film was just to protect it for the next bit. I mixed up a concoction of PVA and water and liberally slathered the mixture all over it. Much massaging, folding and whispering of loving words ensued. (And some crazy "He's ALIVE!" manic laughter) Very therapeutic, strangely. Admire with awe the peg/knife/string chaos that arose from trying to stop it pinging everywhere...
Whoopidoo Blog: Carmen Wing - Making of Vincent the skull - Textile Hanging
Vincent then languished in my airing cupboard for around 24 hours to dry out fully. (I'd just watched Loving Vincent - hence the name. Brilliant film. I cried.) At this point he has been removed from the skull and the hessian is rigid, there is nothing behind him...
Whoopidoo Blog: Carmen Wing -  Making of Vincent the skull - Textile Hanging
After carefully cutting around the shape of Vincent, I had to work out how much hessian the skull had used. Then cut a piece of natural muslin which fit within the measurements. This wasn't quick. Maths and I still don't get on. The design on the muslin is mono-printed hand drawn plant and leaf patterns - I was going for a really organic feel and wanted all the fabric to be natural. Hence the twig and string to hang it. I stole the twig from Mr Bear's little twig forest in the garden. Sssh, don't tell him. Whenever we go out for a walk he comes home with a new stick to 'plant'. 

To finish off Vincent was attached with a few stitches to hold him to the hanging...
Whoopidoo Blog: Carmen Wing - Vincent the skull - Textile Hanging
I was really pleased with this one - I wanted to convey a natural feeling of earth and nature and death and how skulls crop up again and again in all the research I've done. 

I have been researching death (obviously) but the way we treat our dead, reclaiming cemeteries, how other cultures deal with their dead, environmental and space saving ways we could look at doing it in the future - how culture, religion, history affects it etc. Whether we are dealing with just a vessel or something more... I find it all fascinating and definitely something I want to come back to in the future.

Thanks for stopping by today.


  1. Oh wow, loved the write up - how did the Peckachuka go? Said 17 year old has to do one as well!

    1. I was shaking so much and my tongue got stuck to the top of my mouth but definitely better than a huge long presentation.


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