Plaster is a wonderful material. It can be cast, carved and moulded, and this flexibility has resulted in it being used for thousands of years, from the ancient Egyptians to the archetypal sculptures that we associate with the Renaissance.
But plaster also has a fair bit of history at UCL. The university’s Museums & Collections contain countless extraordinary examples including early studies of children’s limbs from the Great Ormond Street Hospital collection and items from Galton’s experiments into eugenics.
To celebrate this wonderful material, a new exhibition about plaster and the casting process, highlighting the sculpture models of the neoclassical artist John Flaxman, started this month at the UCL Art Museum.
The exhibition is accompanied by a pop-up display in the South Cloisters, so I headed down to have a go at casting, mixing, carving and moulding plaster with artist and Curator of Materials, Zoe Laughlin from the UCL Institute of Making. (more…)