Beauty Girl: a dry stone sculpture in progress

Pictured above, marble block in Rutland, VT quarry

Pictured above, clay model, back view

Pictured above, Princess Maya, (mother of Siddartha) an inspiration for Beauty Girl sculpture.

Beauty Girl is a 34’ x 8’ x 5’ 6” dry stone construction to be installed on the grounds of a private residence in southern Connecticut late in 2009. Two types of stone, and two distinct building methods, comprise the work. Exposed portions of the reclining female figure are made up of carved marble slabs, laid horizontally. Four thick robes, draped over the figure, are made up of fieldstone, laid vertically. Portions of the figure’s back, arm, head and legs are visible where the robes part. Subtle elevation changes occur in the fieldstone surface where the robes cross over one another.

I made a 1” = 1’ scale model of the sculpture in clay. 1,200 points on the sculpture surface, relative to grid points on a plane above the model, were measured and recorded. Those numbers were transferred to the full-scale guide frame that will be used on site. Steel weights, suspended on fish line, will guide the height of the finished stonework.

Because it is figurative, Beauty Girl is a departure from the abstract environmental art pieces I’ve been doing in recent years. It‘s not exactly something new to me, though. With this piece I’m very pleased to be revisiting my early, art making years, when I did a lot of figure drawing and portrait painting.

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