Saturday, November 07, 2009

TIKOT - The Hung Tiki

When I was asked to take part in the TIKOT group show I was given this information on the Hanged Man card...

The Hanged Man - Atomic Tony Tiki

Serenely dangling upside-down, the Hanged Man has let go of worldly attachments. He has sacrificed a desire for control over his circumstances in order to gain an understanding of, and communion with, creative energies far greater than his individual self. In letting go, the hero gains a profound perspective accessible only to someone free from everyday conceptual, dualistic reality.

Modern versions of the tarot deck depict a man hanging upside-down by one foot. The figure is most often suspended from a wooden beam (as in a cross or gallows) or a tree. Ambiguity results from the fact that the card itself may be viewed inverted. Is the man or the world upside-down? I set my brain to thinking, a tiki hanging from a tree obviously, and there is really only one famous tree in the Tiki world...

...The Tangaroa tree from outside the Enchanted Tiki Room.
Since the card has duality I figured the tiki's face should be readable in two directions like a Victorian novelty image a grinning face reversed and face of agony while in the correct position.

The artwork in the show was size specific all 2D art had to be 20" x 10", so I had to build and stretch my own frame. Luckily I found a frame 20" x 30" so I had to crack out my multi tool and use the worlds bluntest saw on a hot day to cut it down.

Some super glue and sticky tape to hold the wood together, then I stretched a thick cotton re-usable carrier bag for the canvas. Then several coats of PVA glue/white acrylic to dope it and it was all ready to start.

The initial outline and the first of the red coats for the background.

On with some yellow ochre for the body.

The brown added to the tree.

The brown added for the wood-grain on the tiki body, its really time consuming, but it really works.
More colour added to the tree and some black outlines.

The darker shading added to the figure.

Highlights and mid-tones added and outlines in white for the flowers.

Mostly finished the flowers in, the rope defined and blood added to the empty socket. This is because in Norse myths Odin hung over the abyss he sacrificed his eye, so that he'd gain wisdom.

The tarot is all about cultural symbols and myths, so mixing a little Norse into the mix won't hurt.

Finally finished I toned down the yellow on the tree, added a few more lashings to the tree, added black wood-grain to the tree and went over all the highlights with more brown wood-grain, just to pull back the white.

You can read an great thread about the show on Tiki Central..

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