CPE CSGA CSPWC OSA RCA
1941 - 2022
Study for Three Mummers
graphite and watercolour on paper
signed, titled and dated 2006 and on verso titled on the gallery label
13 x 18 in, 33 x 45.7 cm
Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000 CAD
Sold for: $2,500
Winchester Galleries, Victoria
Mummering is a Newfoundland tradition passed down from the earliest British and Irish colonial settlers. Taking place over the 12 days of Christmas, masked and cloaked visitors call on their neighbours, only speaking once identified. Food and drink are supplied, and the Mummers are expected to entertain their hosts. This Yuletide loosening of societal rules and conventions could serve as an important outlet for strict Methodist communities like Wesleyville of the 1940s and 50s, and David Blackwood explored the imagery of Mummering throughout his career.
Etching is a very deliberate and technical medium, and this study is a fascinating example of Blackwood’s preparatory work. Before working on the copper plate itself, Blackwood would plan out compositional elements and qualities of light and shadow via drawings and watercolours such as this one. As shown in the study, the final etching Three Mummers is a triptych composed of three separate printing plates.
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