what I'm doing, what I'm seeing, what I'm thinking

blog HOME
website www.kathydalwood.com
email: kathy@kathydalwood.com
instagram: kathydalwood
twitter: kathydalwood
subscribe button on side bar


Galileo, plaster bust

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!


  1. She is wonderful! Your busts are becoming much more abstract/modern in feel. Her contemporary turban is great.

    Have you seen the book "African Textiles and Decorative Arts"? It was a catalogue from an exhibition from the Museum of Modern Art in 1972-73. Another book on African jewelry and adornment called "Africa Adorned" is quite amazing. It covers all of Africa by regions.

    1. Now those are good books to hunt down Len, thanks. It's really interesting when one looks at the history of fashion and contemporary fashion, just how much is influenced by various ethnic designs which are often so strong, pure and elemental - and unpretentious!!

  2. Brilliant Kathy!! Small World, I made a stage costume for Adam Ant in the very late 70's using corrugated rubber hoses from car engines salvaged in our Village breakers yard.

    1. Roger, you MUST have a photo!! Put it in Twitter please!!!!

  3. Kathy, I love these busts, you're an inspiration for me to try my hand at figurative sculpture. I just haven't quite made that leap yet.

  4. This is stunning, and I love the story behind it, and the leaning tower on top! Beautfiful, great work!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...