Tina O'Connell

Process

After Epstein - Alabaster Research

Following an Arts Council of Ireland grant in 2009, this research entailed the development of a project that sought to examine how production processes are shaped in the context of global resources, skills and computer technologes. In particular, the work draws upon three infamous pieces created by the British Sculptor, Sir Jacob Epstein; Consummatum Est (1936), Adam (1938) and Jacob and the Angel (1940-41), Using earlier reference point for my work, the absent space created by road potholes, I tracked down and acquired a 7 tonne piece of Alabaster through clandestine means - most of todays alabaster is destined for the global pharmaceutcials industry in order to be ground down to powder for gypsum. A piece this size was required in order to create a 5 foot high extruded pothole form. These sculptures were made from rubber castings taken froma pothole in Clapham, London. I worked closely with material experts and stonemasons to achieve this work and has helped me to develop through this working research prcess, a new body of sculptures which examine contemporary approaches to making alongside traditional craftskills.
After Epstein - Alabaster Research

The original block of English alabaster stone.

After Epstein - Alabaster Research

The core which has only minor faults is revealed through a process of removal.

After Epstein - Alabaster Research

Early stage of carving. The stone is cut down to its core and the form is extruded.

After Epstein - Alabaster Research

Detail of the pothole carved from a copy of a cast pothole.

After Epstein - Alabaster Research

Polished Alabaster is carved by hand from a 7 tonne block.

Final Carving

Completed Carving.

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