Wood Sculpture in Gold Light ~ Head Case

Sculptures change even as you look at them.  Carvings differ from one time to another, under one light source or another, in one media or another — both the image and the original thing itself change.

This web optimized photo of a sculpture I made in wood was inspired by a Nara period theatrical mask.

sculpture inspired by Nara period theatrical mask
Wood Sculpture by Peter.
Click on photo to enlarge.

Here you see it on the web, but the sculptured mask is already different from the photographic image: the wooden carving’s physical image changes with countless shifts in light and shadow.  It’s one of three installed in my Head Case.

Head Case ~ Media Container

It holds upright three original sculptures of Japanese theatrical masks.

Gold is their color (more or less).  It survives as aging paint to embellish the carvings, and as filtered light passing through translucent yellow panels — one on the front for visitors to look inside, and one on the top to admit light from overhead, sun, moon and, yes, electric lights.

head case, japanese wood sculpture masks in gold light
Head Case with translucent gold panels, gold reflective walls & 3 masks mounted. Turn the table (at bottom), see multiple images of the masks and gold light change at the control of your finger.

Gold light plays on the 3 masks as they turn and change their images on the 3 reflective surfaces.  This head case measures about 20″ on each side of the cube – big enough to rotate three full-size masks on the turntable.

The outside of the case is reclaimed redwood from my old fence.  When I need more wood, I just take another board off the fence,

Then, the image I originally had in mind — hasn’t that changed, too?

n.b.  If you want to see original Nara period masks and other fine carvings of the period, start with volumes 3 and 4 of Genshoku Nihon no Bijutsu.


Author: Peter Neibert

I carve stone & wood sculpture, and photograph ikebana, pictographs, landscapes and my own sculptures. I browse my images on screen until one of them speaks to me. Then I work-up something in Photoshop. Often, I do nothing with it for a long time -- perhaps until another browsing trail leads me back to it. So, it might become a simple inkjet print, or a Photoshop project, or a carving -- often I take pictures of the work-in-progress, and work them into the progress of the work. My studio is in Kentfield, California.

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