Figurative Modelling – Day 5Posted: January 26, 2016
We were asked to prepare stitched limbs prior to our workshop so we could later fill them with plaster. I began fairly simple just by tracing the outline of my arm and seeming the edge but I got a bit more ambitious and tried to make a head without a dress pattern.
Whilst the general shape of the head would be three-dimensional, I tried to create the smaller features through stitch lines as I was curious to see how the plaster would pick them up. I wanted the features of the face to be fairly ambiguous and suggestive like Alice Kettle’s textile work.
When it came to the workshop there wasn’t much left to do. I slung my fabric head in a box and made a rough clay arm to lay my plaster cast on in the hopes of adding some more texture to the piece. Unfortunately the fingers broke when I was removing the fabric from the plaster but it’s not too big of a deal. The plaster has picked up so much detail it gives the illusion that the fabric is still wrapped around.
I’m really happy with how the head turned out. It has this child-like or doll quality that is reminiscent of Claire Loder’s work. They both speak of the uncanny and present the face with just enough distortion that it becomes both alien and familiar to us.
Speaking of the uncanny, Christie Brown’s “The Uncanny Playroom” could be an interesting direction to take these plaster casts, combining all of these fragmented limbs into one figure perhaps even mixing in some of the actual sewn limbs.