Naked Fish

Year: 1998
Materials: Steel
Housed: Sold

Naked Fish came about because I discovered that the British Museum had an unusual old masquerade head-piece from the delta region of Nigeria. The head-piece had been constructed using an open weave conical wicker basket that was originally used to carry fish or periwinkles. A delicately carved small river fish had then been tied horizontally to the top of it, seeming as thought is was swimming across this upturned basket. I thought for anybody to wear this structure would be particularly visually interesting.

I have made a film called Dressing, depicting a teenage masquerade group getting into their costumes and thereby being in the process of changing into gods. Their various states of undress and the structures added to their bodies made for very exciting imagery. The memories of these images enabled me to play with the idea of exposing these gods as men.

DRESSING is a continuation of my research into the art of masquerading.

I enjoy the process by which the masqueraders expose the various layers of their costume in the private moments before the performance. Naked Fish has a string vest that allow the performers nipples to protrude between the strands, which I particularly enjoy.

Naked Big Fish and Naked Gelede follow on the same lines as this work.

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