‘Mime’ by Sam Shendi.
“The art of showing a character or telling a story using body movements and gestures without words.”
This is the definition of ‘mime’ but it could also be a definition of my husband’s art work. Each piece telling a story. A visual cue. This piece might tell a story itself having just got back from being on display with Paul Smith in London during Frieze art fair week.
We are programmed, taught to read words and interpret but less so with picture, paintings and sculptures. It is interesting considering this when thinking about my boys, both extremely visual. One more of a ‘reader’ than the other but their comprehension high. We can read words forming pictures in our imaginations, perhaps it is more difficult to see art and then create our own stories and ideas. Always just needing that extra nudge or prompt to point us in the right direction. Last night after tea the boys were talking about what they could see in a large egg box tray ( we have gone through 25 eggs this week!) which was propped up against the radiator. They both saw different things, soldiers and feet and all sorts. Perhaps you and I would just see an egg box.
Wonder if that is the difference between the artist and the viewer?
It makes me smile, mainly because for ages my husband was calling it Mim, not knowing that little rule that when there is an ‘e’ the ‘i’ becomes ‘eye’. I was a bit unsure of this piece at first. I asked him.’Why make a sculpture of a mime artist?’ ‘What is the point?’. I felt that wIth most of his work I could understand the point. He explained that they had always fascinated him, the makeup, the dress code. He showed me some fantastic images you can see and I started to understand. Étienne Decroux, explored and developed the possibilities of mime and developed corporeal mime into a highly sculptural form, taking it outside of the realms of naturalism. My husband wanted to make a sculptural dedication in a way, in his style. A style which is become stronger. The geometric shapes and Egyptian style very dominate in this piece.
Last week my husband’s sister stayed with us for a week for christmas. It was lovely to have the sounds and tastes of Egypt in the house. She brought lots of well liked and missed Egyptian treats and the sound of the arabic and egyptian language and laughter filled our house. It always gives me a window into another world and another dimension to my husband to hear him speak in his mother-tounge. Watching them made me think about this piece a bit more, how communication is not just with the tongue but with gestures. I often think I am understanding a conversation now, my ear is in tune and I understand some words but I have a way to go before I can grasp it completely.
It is always fascinating to learn something new, discover something new. When Art can challenge the way you think then I think that makes all the difference. This piece will be on show from February for four weeks at The Curious Duke.