Looking for interesting and unexpected materials to create my costumes from, it's amazing what you come across in the studio.
In this case a bag of flexible plumbers' piping under my studio armchair, left over from a public sculpture commission I made earlier this year (installation this week - finally, pics soon!). I thought at the time - don't chuck it, you never know! And the repetitive, sculptural shapes have turned out to be perfect for the more abstract costumes I'm creating at the moment.
By the way, I'm wondering if anyone will guess why I called her Galileo? (answer at the bottom!)
First coat of silicone rubber to make the mould from the original sculpture. I always think the busts look weird at this stage, almost as if they're lying under a shroud. Spooky.
I've had the model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa for quite a while and hadn't found a way of using it but as soon as I'd made this hat it was the obvious choice shape wise and pattern wise. It's great when a decision is easy and instinctive like that because I think then you know it's the right one.
The two halves of the silicone mould
I like the way the 'necklace' cantilevers from her neck. A shape reminiscent of amazing African adornments - which I have been looking at. These shapes have been re-interpreted by contemporary fashion designers quite often. And they 'necklace' on my bust also reminds me of the Elizabethan ruff - that wonderful piece of abstract sculpture! (which I've referenced in my Tudor Frieze).
So, why Galileo??
In 1589 the Italian scientist Galileo dropped two balls of different masses from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate that their time of descent was independent of their mass. (thanks Wikepedia).
So, now you know!