Fri, 11, 19

At the royal opening of its new premises the first BAFTA mask, cast in bronze, was presented to Sir Charles Chaplin.....

Who’s behind the BAFTA mask?

The iconic BAFTA mask was designed in 1955 by US sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe and has become an internationally-recognised symbol of excellence in the art forms of the moving image.

Born in New York, Mitzi Cunliffe read Fine Arts and Fine Arts Education at Columbia, later working in the studio of a sculptor in Paris. From the direct carving of stone reliefs in sections for works on public buildings, she later developed methods for producing modular sculpture cast in various materials, including concrete and aluminium, for interiors and exteriors.

In 1955, a trophy mask was commissioned by Andrew Miller-Jones of the [then] Guild of Television Producers. Cunliffe originally modelled the mask in Plasticine, from which the casting moulds were made, and though based on the traditional concept of the theatrical tragicomic mask, it is more complex than its immediate front facial appearance suggests. The hollow reverse of the mask bears an electronic symbol around one eye and a screen symbol around the other, linking dramatic production and television technology, and the full intention of Mitzi’s original design included a revolving support to allow the mask to be turned and viewed easily from either side.

At the royal opening of its new premises the first BAFTA mask, cast in bronze, was presented to Sir Charles Chaplin.

Growing furniture on farm

On a two-acre field in England’s Midlands, farmers, Gavin and Alice Munro are taking sustainability to the next level: they harvest trees which they train to grow into chairs. Ancient Romans, Chinese and Japanese are known to have shaped trees to customize their forms.

These farmers have a furniture farm in Derbyshire where they are nurturing 250 chairs, 100 lamps and 50 tables. It is their answer to what they see as the inefficient and carbon-heavy process of cutting down mature trees to create furniture.

Instead of force-growing a tree for 50 years and then cutting it down and making it into smaller bits, the idea is to grow the tree into the shape that you want directly.

The labor and time involved in producing the organic pieces means they do not come cheap. Chairs sell for $12,480, lamps for $1,120-2,870 and tables for $3,120-15,600.

The average chair takes six to nine years to grow ? and another year to dry out.

The farmers hope to be harvesting annually by 2022.

- SZ