E-BULLETIN AUGUST 2012
Raising the bar, Olympic inspired mementos that will stand the test of time
Although Juliana and I are not huge fans of sport, we must admit to being rather fanatical about these gorgeous Olympic inspired pieces by two of our artists, Alice Mara and Kathy Dalwood.
Having acquired herself a ticket to Olympic synchronized swimming event, an idea was sparked in the creative mind of our ceramicist Alice Mara. Inspired by the way synchronized swimmers create patterns and regimentation with their bodies, she set about working up some new designs. She wanted the viewer to see an ornate pattern at first glance, then on closer inspection the group of synchronized swimmers.
As with all of her work, Alice asked a friend to pose for a 50’s inspired swimming photoshoot, having ordered a vintage swimming cap from ebay. She was pleased with the outcome because the imagery immediately took on the feel of swimmers from a bygone era, but with a contemporary twist.
Carrying on along the same lines Alice wanted to produce a matching product that had a similar Olympian theme. She chose boxers and took herself off to the local boxing gym where she managed to entice one of the boxers to pose for her in exchange for a free couple of boxer mugs.
Matching the colours of the boxer's shorts to the swimming costume links them together visually, they become a his and hers product.
If like us you're taken with these stunning pieces, have a look at the whole range available from the online shop priced from £20-£50 plus delivery.
Sculptor Kathy Dalwood was equally energized by the Olympic event. Kathy creates contemporary re-interpretations of the 18th and 19th century portrait bust. In her work Kathy is playful with classical aesthetics using industrial materials like concrete and plaster and real-life materials and objects to create beautifully detailed sculptures that instantly engage. This is never truer than in Miss Get Set Go, a plaster bust which has been especially designed with the London Olympic Games in mind. The sculpture features a swimmer, shuttlecock, trophy, swimming goggles and football to name but a few of the wonderful objects Kathy has incorporated in the sculpture. Kathy has also created Miss London which features many of the city's key landmarks.
To create these unique sculptures Kathy first builds an original from all kinds of materials and found objects - haberdashery, model buildings, vintage ornaments, dolls-house accessories, fabrics, corrugated card, paper and much else. Plaster casts are then made from these originals, the plaster picking up an amazing amount of texture and detail giving the sculptures a strange air of realism.
The idea of placing architectural monuments, iconic landmarks and random objects on the headdresses and costumes was inspired by the intriguing 18th century fad of decorating hats with very large scale, incongruous objects - famously Marie Antoinette adorned a hat with a huge ship in full sail.
The busts are quite roughly cast and mould lines are deliberately left evident - evoking the language of industrial casting and fabrication. Individually hand cast and finished, every bust comes out of the mould slightly differently, creating a quite unique sculpture.
We love Kathy’s work, in our recent show we kept discovering new elements of the sculptures that we missed previously. A range of her sculptures can be bought from the online shop priced at £250-288 plus delivery.