I'm always on a hunt for model buildings for my plaster bust collection, architecture having always been a very strong influence in my work, and it's very hard to find contemporary buildings like this one.....
...the New York Guggenheim. Her name, Art Lover, in homage naturally to that doyenne of all art lovers, Peggy Guggenheim.
Silicone stage of the mould-making process. In creating the busts I first construct an original sculpture by collaging together real materials and objects. From this, a mould is taken and finally a plaster cast.
For the hat and bodice I used cardboard packaging - those specially cut and folded interiors of the kind of boxes which hold mobile phones or other electrical items. They are great, random, abstract and sculptural forms and I just go with their shapes rather than trying to re-form them. We hardly think about the industrial designers who create bespoke packaging even though we are exposed to their work all the time. I like to examine their complex and clever work and re-use it to create another three-dimensional from, completely different from theirs.
The round part of the Guggenheim is well known and iconic but when I got this model I wondered about the rectangular part of the building which I hadn't remembered. In the model, it works brilliantly as a contrast with the circular forms.
It's nigh on impossible to find models of contemporary buildings in the places where mini buildings are sold - namely tourist shops. They prefer the old iconic ones like the Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace. I'm frustrated that in London no one has thought to make a model of the National Theatre for example - a stunning Modernist building.
You can see the flaps of the original packaging which make great epaulettes for the bodice.
The silicone mould-making stage is a total drag - the runny silicone has to be built up in layers which takes days.
For Art Lover's hair I used plaits from a 'human' wig (not real hair!).
I'm intrigued by the clever people who make architectural models - this one of the Guggenheim in card is great. Models tend to simplify the original buildings, making them more sculptural and elemental.
I think it was made by this guy
Looking around on line for more models I loved this one - very abstract so right up my street. It's a design by Zago Architecture of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shenzen, China. Would love to go there.
This one is pretty wild - more sculpture than architecture but then I reckon that's how the best architects think. It was made by this guy
Talking of architectural models, I'm very excited about a forthcoming collaboration with Amalgam Models in Bristol www.amalgam-models.co.uk who have offered to make me a model of a contemporary building of my choice to use with a new plaster bust. Have to start hunting for some suitable candidates!
You might be interested to read profile of my work by Art Historian and writer Julia Kelly. She chose my sculpture for an Open Frequency profile on Axisweb - the curated showcase for contemporary art.
You can read it HERE