Heads up: 140 clay self-portraits of Sheridan students on display at Trafalgar campus

Heads up Sheridan there’s a new art installation at the Trafalgar Campus Library!

The display showcases approximately 140 life-sized self-portraits of second-year students from the Visual and Creative Arts Program. Each sculpture took over six weeks to create. They are made of low-fire clay that was later hollowed out and fired in the kiln.

The self-portraits demonstrate the unique physical qualities of the artist and highlight the diversity in the Sheridan community.

Patricia Delaney, professor of the Introduction to Figurative Sculpture class, said, “Sculpting a head is a very complex process.” 

  • Students start by taking various measurements of the head and converting this into two life-sized drawings of the front and side view. 
  • Beginning in clay with basic measurements, students build geometric forms of the head: cylinder (neck), ovoid (skull), rectangular prism (forehead), triangular prism (face).
  • Students use large scale photos and drawings of the front and side view, mirrors, 3D skulls, 3D plaster heads, 3D plaster features (eyes, nose, mouth and ears) as a reference. 
More works on display

Although the building process is the same in the beginning, each student was given the opportunity to express their style and how they worked with the clay. Artists had to learn how to build geometric forms and from there, how to form the skull and features through 3D observation.

“There were some challenges I faced when creating the sculpture. The clay was really heavy and the clean-up process took a lot of time. If you messed up on one part you would have to start from the beginning since the clay dries,” said Luchia Tabakhi, a second-year Visual and Creative Arts student. 

Visit the library now until the second week of January to view the works of art.