Thursday, 18 August 2011

Terra Cotta and Homo Erectus

I'm a little behind in my projects in the studio at the moment. I was hoping to have #5 further along but it's been so busy in the studio that there hasn't been time to advance it much. I also mentioned that I was moulding #3,that has been delayed till next week.
In the meantime,I wanted to show a terracotta sculpture that was created back in 2008. This piece was inspired by a cast of a Homo Erectus skull from China. The original reconstruction was done by Dr.Franz Weidenreich and Lucille Swan in the early 1940's. The original fossils were lost during the invasion of China by Japan during World War 2 but Weidenreich was able to produce excellent moulds and casts of the originals and they were sent to USA prior to hostilities and are housed in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Image copyright  Art  Di Lella

Image copyright  Art  Di Lella

Image copyright  Art  Di Lella
The faces on pre-modern humans are compelling for me because of the unusual facial proportions.  Archaic people as a group tend to have over sized faces relative to the size of their cranium.  This feature plus the extraordinary length of the cranium gives the appearance of being flat headed yet the height of the cranium itself often overlaps the modern range. Although, this sculpture like others that touch this subject is a speculation,it does point out how amazing and at times mysterious the whole process of hominid development.

Next time, I will have news on #5, till then have a great weekend.

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