Giant Skull Heads with Poncho El Chihuahua
We are five grown-ups and our costumes had to show it. So we made them big. As big as we could. Giant.
Drawing inspiration from a culture we don’t know much about, visions of pinata makers, kids’ drawings, our long-forgotten arts and crafts education and a skull whiskey bottle, we were ready to roll. And so we did – in newspapers, flour and discarded chicken wire. It was beautiful.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the London Evening Standard*. We would’ve never done it without the 35 copies of your 23rd of October issue.
*free daily newspaper
Chapter 1: Unreasonable enthusiasm
25m of chicken wire; newspapers (yes, we do want Evening Standard); a liter of glue; two kilos of flour; London’s top quality tap water; acrylics. And a week to go. We thought we would be ready in under 48 hours and we were so wrong.
Thursday night was a time of exploration, take out and engineering mishaps at Jesús’s flat, aka the studio (because if you make paper mache, you are an artist, right?). It took a while but we figured out how to mold head shapes from wire. Jaredo looked so confident and skilled that we just let him shape everyone’s mask. The beginning was very much about team-work – one skull, ten hands. Things were going well. We even went out for a drink amidst of it all because our confidence was disproportionate to our actual capabilities.
Chapter 2: Reality
Some had real-life engagements on Saturday; the rest of us – we imagined we were artists. We shaped head, glued paper, shaped heads, glued paper. A quick check on top of the lamp gave us good indication of what we’d miss. The mask would glow over the light bulb where newspaper layers were too thin.
Chapter 3: Strain
Sunday night, 11pm. We had made it, somewhat. Our glue had finished and we resorted to flour. Nacita shot multiple gifs (because this is how grownups entertain themselves), we made plans to become artists (tbc), we glued thousands of tiny newspaper stripes and we were, once again, confident it could work out. By the end of it we had five giant newspaper heads.
Antonio was the first to paint his Head. It was exciting once again. Good times.
Chapter 4: Time
Painting and finalizing took many random hours during the next week. Looking at everyone’s increasingly detailed decoration (Gloria would spend hours weaving fake flowers), Antonio gave life to Poncho El Chihuahua. We were now planning to become a mariachi band with a mascot.
Chapter 5: Pinnacle
We had two, not one. It was great and lonely. Who’d know that wearing a huge skull head that has surprisingly good acoustic insulation would make people photograph you but not talk to you? We felt like celebrities for a couple of nights -and it was strange but awesome fun!