This was the second 3d module, we had to make a sculpture using an armature and additive method with wet plaster. Direct modelling from the previous sculpture made in in the first module.. ie ‘not a thinker’ earlier in my blog. I started off making a chicken wire shell as before but it was all wrong, as with this method one starts with the absolute inside of the head and work outwards towards the skin. This was tricky as I deliberately never filled in the face on ‘not a thinker’. I dumped my first effort and started again.
When I saw Giacommetti’s head on a rod that inspired me.. in HMP Holloway I remember being told that an inmate who talked too freely to staff was called a ‘Gob on a Stick’.. and so my sculpture started with setting up the Stick, then creating an armature using bubble wrap for brains, a prickly branch for the lower internal parts of the mouth, tough reeds for the cords, muscles and tendons that run through and enable the twist of the neck, and brambles to represent a collar bone framework on which to hang bracken based alveoli of the lungs. On Nicola Hicks’ sculptures of plaster and straw, the straw shows through to good effect and I wanted the natural materials I used to convey meaning and be evident.
I wanted the sculpture to represent just the soft tissues under the skin and bone.. and I was partially pleased with the result but not wholly. Whilst bubble wrap brains pleases me conceptually (quite often feels my own head is stuffed with bubble wrap), it was not easy technically as the plaster wouldn’t stick to the bubble wrap and if she was bumped flakes would fall off revealing the plastic underneath..meaning she was very difficult to transport. However the natural materials used took the wet plaster beautifully and this is an idea that I would like to develop further. I don’t feel the Gob on a Stick is fully finished.. but I am waiting to get her to Edinburgh before I do any more.