the review on Yatzer
London-based artist and designer Kathy Dalwood has arranged a soirée
like no other. Her collection of plaster busts, set as a bizarre
banquet for a mysterious gathering of characters, is now on display
at Pitzhanger Manor / PM Gallery & House in London and it will
be open through June 9th, 2013.
by the lushness and debauchery of Baroque feasts, the exhibition
is more like a well-thought art installation: where Dalwood’s
busts stand among candelabra and an assembly of everyday items and
junk, all covered in plaster, put together like towers of food and
luxurious decoration. Through this all-white extravaganza of everyday
cheap things like plastic flowers and fruit, beer cans, paper coffee
cups, cheap glasses from junk/charity shops and cigarette packets,
Kathy Dalwood creates an ironic illusion of opulence, as if the
horn of Amalthea is flowing out of Tesco bags. As a result, her
installation becomes a humorous comment on both today’s definitions
of value, quality and luxury, and how these concepts can be seen
as relative and debatable. And part of the installation’s
success is of course its dramatic Baroque saturation effect, especially
when seen from a distance. . . . . . . . . . . .
Read the review
The pixie curators
of Pitzhanger Manor have done it again.............Visitors can
walk through the ground floor historic interiors and be confronted
by a series of tables groaning under the weight of an opulent dinner
party. The surfaces are laden with bizarre-looking dishes vying
for space among even stranger table decorations: platters of lobster
and fruits de mer, baskets toppling with exotic fruit, mouth-watering
cakes crowned with miniature figurines, vases of dried flowers mixed
with kitchen utensils, boxes of petits fours and other tempting
amuse-bouches. It can be difficult to tell which are intended for
the gastronomic feast and which are meant purely for visual effect.
But it doesn’t really matter because the spread is suffused
with a ghostlike quality: everything has been created from brilliant
white plaster, set against a jet black cloth. Even the plates, cutlery
and trimmings are the hue of meringues, whipped cream and icing
sugar, as if the chef might be some weird ‘Jack Frost/Heston
Blumenthal’ hybrid, with the Snow Queen as guest of honour .
. . . . . . . . read
the review by
. . . . . Enter the Soane Suite and you'll be greeted with a sculptural
banquet created by London-based artist and designer Kathy Dalwood.
This is her "Secret Society" (trying very very hard to
ignore naive Selma Blair's incantation in Cruel Intentions) with
a very unusual guest list of ecccentric characters with names like
Mme Maigret, Gold Digger, Ms Chattanooga and Aviatrix. The sixty-four
busts, almost all of which are female, are part of Dalwood's ongoing
series of work, which she started three years ago, when funnily
enough, she wandered around Sir John Soane's Museum looking at 19th
century busts and was inspired to take this recognisable sculptural
format and give them a contemporary shake-up. Their link up with
fashion isn't immediately apparent as the intention is that from
a distance, they look like they could well be conventional busts
depicting the guarded image of important people. .
This spring the Soane Suite is being transformed into a most unusual banquet
– the invited guests all members of a secret society but also entirely
made of plaster.
curious group is wearing extraordinary costumes that range from the stylish
to the surreal, adorned with outrageous hats and unexpected accessories
or unusual collars and cloaks. Their lavish dinner party has everything
one could wish for – overflowing bowls of exotic fruit, magnificent
multi-tiered cakes, decanters of wine, vases of flowers and candelabra–
only as with the guests all is immortalised in bright white plaster.
The Secret Society is the first solo exhibition of acclaimed London-based
artist and designer Kathy Dalwood, and is the first time that her celebrated
Plaster Bust collection has been shown in its entirety.
Following Sir John Soane's own liking for staging 'Gothic Banquets', Dalwood’s
sculptural portrait busts reference sources ranging from Miss Havisham’s
house to the Mad Hatter’s tea party, Marie Antoinette’s infamous
soirées to classical bacchanalia, masked balls and Venetian carnivals.
The mysterious associations are not stuck in the distant past however
and also display the influence of the modernist avant garde and the world
of extreme sculptural fashion.
about the exhibition, Dalwood comments: “Pitzhanger Manor was designed
for busts! There are niches, plinths and mantelpieces everywhere. But
given that I perceive the busts as a group of strange, detached characters
occupying their own world, I thought it would be interesting to stage
an event for them, so I’m creating a bizarre banquet. nI hope that
visitors will be seduced by the expressive beauty of plaster as a material
and that perhaps the busts will steer people’s interest towards
figurative sculpture in general, of which there are so many – at
times overlooked – diverse and captivating examples in the cities,
parks, palaces, cathedrals and museums of the world.”
Secret Society is curated by PM Gallery & House in association with
Matt Price. The installation has been styled in collaboration with Karina
Garrick. To celebrate the exhibition, a new plaster bust has been created,
inspired by the architecture of Sir John Soane and will be for sale along
with other pieces from the collection.