07 July 2015

Drawing Tuesday - Mezoamerica in Berlin ethnology museum


Having rushed through the Mesoamerica room several times on previous visits to the ethnology museum, I thought it might be a good idea to sit a while and draw. 
With just over two hours available, and many pages yet to fill in the sketchbook, I resolved to "draw like the wind" (in hindsight, perhaps not the best decision!). None, or very few, of the objects had their own labels, which helped in one way and was utterly frustrating in another - reading the labels wasn't a distraction, but the lack of all but general information (in German only) leaves you with very little sense of where the individual objects come from, when they were made, how they were used.
Some sort of hedgehog?
Not a hedgehog at all - the back of the figure on the right
And this is the other side of the figure on the left
The "hedgehog" drawn in compressed charcoal transferred to the other page,
marking out the shape of the front of the object

The little guy carrying a water jug on his back is also wearing a large mask.
The holes suggest it's an ocarina


Phytomorphic (pumpkin?) jar - gadrooned shape and pondrous handle
Still using compressed charcoal

Forgot to photograph the water jug with the bulbous legs ...
... and also these two small figures

So many bulgy bits!
Using pencil ... quite tentatively on the right, feeling the form

Lovely animals, especially the sleeping fox

Didn't draw these - they were brought together as examples of the four stages of Teotihuacan culture

Putting two and two together - empty chest, and the shackles - an image of a sacrificial victim?
Definitely too little time spent on these

Representation of a temple?

Wonderful plumed head-dress

Loved the look of these

Another "missing middle" - deliberate, or accidental breakage?

When I started drawing, the carving was a mass of unidentifiable lines and shapes,
but during the drawing it revealed itself
"Eagle feeding on a heart" (it's better to read the captions after you've done the drawing)

Another melon jar, and a painted bowl 
Final drawings of the session, not particularly well placed on the page
Much of what I was thinking while drawing is sheer speculation, not helped all that much by hasty online research. Is it important to know Teotihuacan from Totlec, or Colima from Huaxteken, or Nayarit warrior figures from Mayan rattle figures -- and how it all fits together? Well, it would help make "sense" of things...  I don't feel sympatico with a lot of these mesoamerican artifacts, but doing the research has thrown up some relevant vocabulary and it's enjoyable to browse various sites - eg, pre-columbian artifacts on this site, and here, and here; and closer to home, this little pottery dog from Colima, western Mexico, 300BC-300AD, in the British Museum (xolo) -

1 comment:

casilda garcĂ­a archilla said...

Very good, Margaret. Me gusta mucho!