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Inspired by a gifted box of old deer antlers and a photo from an article in the May 2022 issue of Art & Antiques magazine on Samurai masks (Deadly Elegance, by John Dorfman). When I was gifted the antlers, I immediately thought they would make a great representation of trees. A salvaged box serves as the canvas for a painted rendering of the No mask, noumen, a Japanese mask developed around the 14th and 15th centuries with the narrative dance dramas of sarugaku-no-nou.

After painting the mask on the inside back of the box, I then used a palette knife and alcohol inks to paint dark trees overtop of it. I also used watered-down gray paint to represent fog or mist among the trees. I then carved spots out of the box to fit the antlers in and secure them firmly within the box. Additional items include interesting found twigs in my yard that seemed to represent delicate small trees and a bit of black moss. A small found bird's nest completed the piece. The name of this piece comes from the dark forest Dante finds himself in at the beginning of the poem Dante's Inferno by Dante Alighieri. 

Selva Oscura

  • Created in 2023
    Mixed Media Found Objects

    11" x 15 1/4" x 9 3/4"

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