Low-Relief Mudwork

I cut these low-relief directly into wet mud smeared on sheetrock panels. After they are finished (and dry), I apply colored washes, which also make the surface more durable. Click on the thumbnail to see the entire image, uncropped. They range in size from about 16 x 24 inches to the big mural, which is about 8 x 20 feet. All were part of an installation/show at the Bush Barn Gallery in Salem, OR, in 2004. Note the wall made of temporary gallery wall panels that we assembled into a gateway, covered with cardboard, and then plastered with mud. The finger pattern was copied directly from a photograph of an actual African wall, in the book Butabu, about west African earthen building. We treated wooden posts similarly, and I finished them with a braided leaf pattern. Thanks to Sara Swanberg, who arranged the show, and friends and others who showed up to help mix and sling mud, including Pam and Fred Baumann, Caitlin Conley and Elaine, and Catherine Johnstone.

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