Kathy Dalwood’s plaster bust collection is a contemporary response to the traditionally sculpted figurative statues and busts of the 18th and 19th centuries, but rather than sculpting in clay or stone, the busts are made by direct casting from real things.
To create these unique sculptures the artist 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.
In 2013 Kathy arranged a soirée like no other. Her collection of plaster busts, set as a bizarre banquet for a mysterious gathering of characters, was on display at Sir John Soane’s former country home, Pitzhanger Manor in London in the first of many ‘Secret Society Banquets’. Since then her sculptural banquet installation has appeared at The Holburne Musuem in Bath, Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Paul Smith, in London.
To see more of Kathy’s art click here