Figure Sculpture as Ruins: Pompeii

Studio View

I’m rethinking the relationship between the sculpture and drawings. Previously, I saw the process as being linear: I started with the sculpture and ended up with drawings. Now I’m seeing the relationship as a cycle: sculpture to drawings; back to sculpture and into drawing, etc. I started asking myself whether I could apply similar processes I used in the crayon drawings back into the sculpture. Instead of viewing the sculptures as only sketches for the drawings, I’m seeing them as companions for the drawings.

I’m basing my aesthetic for the sculptures on the idea of ruins. I’ve described the figures in the drawings as being mysterious, quiet, atmospheric, textured, subtle, delicate, but also immense, monumental, and a little intimidating. To me a ruins site is the sculptural equivalent of these qualities. I spent part of the day researching images of ruins, considering their visual qualities, and how they get to that state. Ruins essentially occur for one of three reasons: 1) natural disaster, 2) neglect, and 3) an act of destruction. I want the sculptures to retain physical qualities similar to that of ruins.

Pompeii casts

Casts at Pompeii

I searched for images of figure sculptures on ruins sites, and it seemed logical to look at images of the plaster casts from the bodies found at Pompeii. I visited Pompeii when I was on the European Honors Program at RISD my junior year there. These figures are an excellent reference: they are both ruins and figures at the same time.

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