The creation process of the first framed ‘In Suspended Animation’ object

Frame: Aluminium, Centurion connectors

Object: Mirror, blue silk, wood, plaster casts, acrylic paint, gold leaf  total dimensions 200 x 125 x 150 cm


side view


“I saw a man sitting on a park bench. He was hunched over, his lower lip protruding.

As I came closer I saw why he was in this position: On his lap he had a blue plastic handmirror, into which he was staring intensely. I could not see whether he was looking at his own image, or at the sky beyond his portrait.

He was sitting motionless, and as I passed him later he was still sitting there.

I made a mental note of the scene and left. But the image kept haunting me. I had to do something with it.

It was an angelic kind of scene, not a narcissistic one. The stillness, the concentration, the man surrounded by nature, seemingly lost in his reflection forever. His being abandoned by his gaze in the mirror. He was absent, unaware of his surroundings.”

In the first study I made of the subject, the angel-like image dominated through the presence of huge wings. The hand mirror had become more abstract: A square mirror on the floor. The absence of a person was symbolized by a mask. One arm would be visible, a last remnant of a gesture, and a reference point to the word ‘hand’. It would form the support for the ‘hand-held’ mask.

In the second study I replaced the wings with more abstract shapes, and a cloak is draped over the right arm.

Technical sketch of the shoulder structure over which the cloak or cape is to be shaped, and (sketch below) how to position the completed structure (mask, head, arm, shoulders and cloak) over the mirror. The idea of using wings has been abandoned.


Introduction of the frame, which was to be the basis for a whole new series of works.

From the top of the frame the whole figure would be suspended, hovering over it’s mirror image.

The colours are now determined: A deep blue cape, open at the front. A grey plaster cast of an arm, a wooden mask. A helmet like structure was formed from reinforced plaster casts of both of my hands, blakc on the outside, gold leaf in the inside, which would circumscribe, define, a head shape. The figure is visibly absent, the head nonexistent.


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