Conclusions and Recommendations:
There is huge potential for using Cartapesta techniques for building sculptures, masks, props and displays here in Australia. The main challenge going forward will be finding equivalent low cost materials such as the wool paper used in building the masks and a similar type of plaster of paris used in preparing the moulds for the mask. Most of the other materials used in mask making are easily obtained. Development and consolidation of the skills and knowledge that I have acquired during my time in Italy will be required before I will feel completely confident in running workshops and teaching others what I have learnt.
In terms of sculpture building using the Cartapesta technique newspaper, flour glue and canes are readily available so this is a technique that could easily be used as the basis for community art projects where there is a limited budget. This technique has been used in schools for many years however visiting Italy and seeing the scale on which these sculptures are built has provided an amazing insight into the potential of this medium for projects on a grand scale.
Into the future I would like to explore further the concept of using recycled handmade papers in building masks and larger scale sculptures and I have some excellent connections locally in Darwin. I know of and have collaborated with two different papermaking artists who specifically work with making paper from local and recycled materials. I also have a great connection with Curtin Springs Station where I undertook an artist’s residency at the station and hope to see how I might be able to incorporate their papers made from native and introduced pasture grasses. I think there are a number of stories that can be told and developed in raising awareness of major environmental issue around weeds and invasive plant species.
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