Black Swan Arts
March 2013 Artist on a Plinth
Organised by Creative Frome, the Plinth is a really good way to showcase the work of local artists and makers. For this occasion I set myself the task to create a full costume but – in between children, illnesses and partner being away for a week – I ran out of time, so I have titled it ‘Headdress for Pazyryk – work in progress’!
The ‘Pazyryk’ in the title relates to the location of some Iron Age tombs in the Altai Mountains of Siberia that, upon excavation, yielded some 35-odd pieces of exquisite and extremely well-preserved felt artefacts. The touring exhibition of these finds in the 70’s are what sparked a renewed interest in felt making in the West. Among the artefacts found were some intriguing stag headdresses, to be worn by horses. Motives of deer and stags are quite common in this region and it is possible that this swift animal was thought to bear the souls of the dead on their way to the afterlife.