Monday, 22 August 2011

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails...

Following on from yesterday's post about thinking back to when my fascination with bones and skeletons began I decided to put together a 'mood board' of inspirations and influences from my childhood, with the focus squarely on popular culture:




I absolutely loved 'Funny Bones' when I was little! I can remember nagging my Mam for the book from the school's book fair, and within a couple of days I had it memorized!! The cartoon of it was also a firm favourite, especially the opening, and the fact I could then watch the Welsh language version was a huge bonus!!





He-man was my all-time favourite cartoon when I was growing up, and I'm still nursing the wounds of my Mam giving my He-man figures away :( Skeletor was a kick-ass villain, neon, over-the-top, vicious and part skeleton what more could you ask for!?! Castle Grayskull was actually my dream house as a child and I still wouldn't mind living there now....



Another childhood staple: Thundercats, although Mumm-Ra isn't technically a skeleton he's still got than skeletal/bones/mummy look going on...



Again Venger from Dungeons and Dragons isn't really a skeleton but his pale face, and Devil like appearance fascinated me, as did his evil looking horse....



The thing I love most about the Munsters is the fact they don't consider themselves any different to their neighbours even though they're "monsters", which is of course where most of the comedy stems from... this simple concept has been a huge influence on both my work and my methodology, especially with the 'Doll Parts' series, I don't consider them scary or monsters, just normal dolls who happen to be skeletons :)




Again The Addams Family appealed to me because of the interaction between the family and the rest of society, the difference here been the humour is more subversive. I also like the fact the family are considered sadistic with a dark streak, but are actually a loving family unit - almost like a gothic version of the Waltons...





I cannot actually describe how excited I was the first time I ever saw 'A Nightmare before Christmas', I was already a Tim Burton fan thanks to Edward Scissorhands' and 'Beetlejuice' and the idea of residents of Halloween Town producing their own version of Christmas seemed like the most genius idea!! Again similar to the Munsters and Addams Family you have monsters and ghouls presented in a sympathetic light, this was a big revelation to me as a child, and I became even more drawn towards things that were "other"....



To me Edward Scissorhands is like a modern Frankenstein, the classic tale of a "monster" attempting to fit in but betrayed and forced out :( Even though I was familiar with the story of Frankenstein when I first saw the film, it was the scene of the Inventor coming up with the idea to make Edward that kick started my fascination with the idea of man playing God and creating another human... and I still like to believe that snow comes from Edward carving ice sculptures ;)





The first Tim Burton film I ever saw, and I love it! ghosts, death, ghouls and possessions! the colours and style of the film were also a big inspiration on me growing up, it introduced me to the idea of mashing dark and bright together...


Like most other kids my age I became very obsessed with 'Jurassic Park', not just because of all the clever marketing hype and special effects, but because it was a genuine masterpiece! and also because it introduced me to fossils and archaeology - which of course led to skeletons!
I used to collect a magazine about Dinosaurs which had a piece of a T-Rex skeleton in it each week, so over time you'd build up it's full skeleton [which I loved!] however it was a glow-in-the-dark skeleton and I frequently used to wake up in the night and see it glowing in the corner of my room, then freak out until my Dad came in to cover it up...



A few of my friends elder brothers and sisters were into more alternative music than my brothers, and I very quickly became drawn to heavy guitars and screaming vocals, I always wanted my own brothers to be more like my friends siblings so I could I borrow their records but alas that never happened... thankfully my older neighbour shared this taste and I used to sit outside in our front garden and listen to Black Sabbath, Metallica and Iron Maiden drift out of his bedroom window... When I first encountered Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie, it was on the poster for 'Number of the Beast' hanging on my cousins elder sister's bedroom door, I instantly latched onto the image of Eddie controlling the Devil! from then on I became hooked on sneaking peeks at various album covers in record shops and browsing the poster racks, stood in awe of Derek Rigg's artwork... by then I was already well on my way over to the darkside :P

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