So What the Heck is a Proscenium Anyway?
— n , pl -nia , -niums
1. the arch or opening separating the stage from the auditorium together with the area immediately in front of the arch
2. (in ancient theatres) the stage itself
[C17: via Latin from Greek proskēnion, from pro- before + skēnē scene]
In other words, the often ornate threshold between the audience (viewer) and the play (in our case, the painted imagery and ideas that we’re “playing” with).
We’ve done something a bit different with the body of work we’ll be showing at Home Fine Art Gallery for February 2011. We’ve created frames that are integrated with the paintings. It was also just plain fun to create theater prosceniums. There is just something elementally pleasing about having direct contact with the materials you’re working with. Neither one of us has worked in 3D for a while, so this was really a treat.
The method we used to make the frames is based on traditional Venetian mask-making techniques. When we were in Italy in 2008, Venice was a highlight of our trip. It’s been called a kind of Disneyland, and yes, there are definitely some seriously touristy places you can get trapped in. Rows and rows of shops selling blown glass and masks made in China. This was, however, our second trip and we knew what to avoid and what we wanted to rediscover; the Venice behind the tourist mask. Our short list:
- The aged and muted colors of the walls and the water, which has always been an influence on our palette.
- The true artisans of glass and paper that you find in the smaller streets. Though, in all honesty, one of our favorite mask makers has a location on the Rialto Bridge and it was one of our first stops.
La Bottega dei Mascareri – where master mask makers Massimo and Sergio Boldrin make both traditional masks and masks of their own design. We own a few of them.
- A serious cup of coffee with a view.