I was drawn to the light, space and gentle acoustics of the Cast Courts. Amidst the array of eclectic sculptures, I found the serenity of this bust particularly moving.
It's history is intriguing with the original marble sculpture in two pieces, the head in Berlin and the shoulders in Moscow. This separation, the ambiguity of the model and also the context of the bust within the atmospheric space of the gallery was an idea I wished to develop.
I enjoy exploring the process of drawing, making mistakes, destroying and reworking an image. For this project I worked in different mediums, sketchbook drawings onsite, charcoal drawings from photographs and dry point prints in my printmaking class. I liked the accidental textures, ghost images and expressive marks in my dry points. Using the drawings and prints as reference I began translating these ideas into stitch.
The triptych is worked in layers of free-machine embroidery for the drawings and the painterly ground. The colour palette reflects the patina of the cast and my newsprint charcoal drawings. The stitch is directional and drawn from my dry point prints. Images are lost, accidentally and with purpose in the evolving process of embroidery.
Bust of a Woman
1472 (sculpted) ca. 1889 (cast)
V&A collection reference number(s):