Friday, December 12, 2008

Nüwa and the Chinese Creation Myths...

When it's cold and rainy outside, I like to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a good book.  One of the things that I seem to always go back to are books about mythology.  I've loved mythology ever since I could remember.  Lately I've been doing a lot of reading into the creation mythos in different cultures.  It's interesting to see the different parallels.  One of the ones that stuck in my subconscious was the story Nüwa and the Chinese creation myth.  Apparently she was a goddess what was half snake/dragon and half humanoid.  She is responsible for the Repair of Heaven and the making of mankind.  CLICK HERE to read more about her.


Above is a woodblock print of Nüwa and Fuxi.  This depiction of them goes back to murals in the Han Dynasty.


Above Left:  Another print of Nüwa.  Above Right:  In this mural painting, She is shown alternatively without limbs, only having the head of a woman and the body of a snake or dragon.

This is my interpretation of the Chinese creation Goddess.  First I sculpted the figure and mounted it on a wooden base.  After painting her, I then covered the dragon portion in Swarovski crystal flat-backs.  My rough estimation is that there's about a thousand flat-backs on this piece.  Each one was individually glued on by me.  Some of the crystals were so small it felt like I was gluing tiny specks of glitter on.  The headdress is made of woven wire, lots of wire-wrapped crystals and crystal pearls.  I added hair and then attached the headdress and glued in the vintage pudding doll in her hands.

Above is a side view of the piece.

This is the back view.  I think the trickiest part of this project was the hair.  I wanted to finish it up and didn't want to wait for a doll wig to come in the mail.  (However, next time this might be the best plan.)  I ended up going to a local beauty supply store and asking for some "weave."  The woman behind the counter raised up an eyebrow and said, "Why?"  I felt like being a little sassy and said, "I think I feel like a change today."  She made this face that was between a smile, a pursing of the lips, a roll of eyes, and a look of disbelief.  She raised up a finger and said, "Honey, you don't need a weave.  You need a wig.  You don't got nothing to weave the weave into."  I just started laughing and told her what I really needed the weave for.  I ended up cutting the weave into small pieces, fusing the ends by melting them together, securing the bundles with tape (that was later painted) and then glued into place.  That was a job and a half!

 
Above and to the left is a close-up of her face.  I might go back in and retouch her make-up and add the pinks back in.  I think I also might go back in and add a couple more embellishments, like small-scale jewelry for her - maybe a necklace and a beaded belt.  I'm not sure yet.  Above and to the right is a close-up shot of the tail and all the crystals meticulously glued in place.  All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with the way she turned out.

9 comments:

laurelmoon said...

Oh, she's amazing! What an extraordinary creation.

Sheila said...

Wow! This is really beautiful! She's literally dripping with jewels! That was funny about the lady in the beauty shop. hahahahha! 'you don't need a weave, you need a wig!' classic.

Nicki said...

Andrew, she is really amazing. You enlarge my horizon.

Joan Tucker said...

Andrew, oh to have such a magical sensibility; I love this creation; enter it in Bead Dreams other category????
Cheers, Joan T

Andrew Thornton said...

Thanks everyone! Your kind words mean a lot to me. As for what she's destined for, she's going to be competing in a different competition. Though thanks for reminding me of the Bead Dreams competition, Joan!

Tammy said...

Oh, good. I was also going to recommend entering her in a competition. She's gorgeous. That's hilarious about her hair.

Melissa J. Lee said...

I love her! She's beautiful and has so much character.

Jean said...

I am so glad I came here and saw this piece of yours, because this is the sort of piece I picture seeing in a museum! Which is exactly where I hope it will end up...a beautiful art museum where everyone can admire it and be amazed!
xox jean

Andrew Thornton said...

Thanks again everyone!