I was very excited about today’s class; we were having a change of tutor for a couple of days and would have Eleanor Crook (Nellie) teaching us for the Thursday and Friday classes. I’ve never met Eleanor, but I’m familiar with her work through Dr. Simon Hall, who used to run the medical art society at Brighton and Sussex medical school and her sculpture is just fantastic so I suspected we’d be in for a treat.
What we did
The day began with a lecture from Eleanor outlining the history of facial reconstruction, including some fascinating detail on how different cultures use human remains in sculpture.
The majority of the day was spent sculpting under Eleanor’s guidance. One at a time we constructed the muscles responsible for facial expressions. I’m going to let the images speak for themselves; we used sculpting wax to model the muscles on to the plaster skull, which we’ll take home at the end of the course. We finished the day with a slide show of Eleanor’s work and snuck back into the studio for a quick bit of last minute modeling before Sarah returned to lock up. Here is a work-in-progress slide show of the skull and muscles I worked on...
It was great to do something hands on and Eleanor was a great teacher, easy to talk to and fascinating to listen to, with a great sense of humor. Reconstructing the face like this was a brilliant addition to the course.
All tutors teach with different rhythms; Eleanor’s has a slightly more laid back pace to her teaching, but with equal depth and competence. Sarah and Eleanor’s teaching compliment one another’s wonderfully and provide students with variety and the tutors a break from 7 days of teaching.
A thing I learnt
Once again, I learnt a huge amount today. Broadly, the most valuable lesson was to be able to construct the facial muscles physically, getting an idea of their size, direction and purpose through the tactile experience of making.
Teaching, drawing, writing and painting.