Mr A and I hadn’tintended to buy anything when we dropped into the Red Orb sculpture show duringa holiday on Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck last summer – but then we didn’t knowthat we’d run into work by Gabrielle Peskin.
A sculptor of some20 years standing, Peskin is inspired by human anatomy and her art is asensual celebration of the physical form. She started out working in woodand stone under the tutelage of John Brown, but now produces everything inplaster, which she builds up on a wire armature in her studio on the Dorsetcliff tops. She says that the material suits her since she often starts workwith no preconceived sense of how the finished sculpture will look andplaster, unlike clay, can be worked on indefinitely. Once she is satisfied withthe shape and finish of a piece, she has a mould made from which the final workis cast – in either stainless steel, bronze or bronze resin.
There were works ineach of these media at the show and, while we were certainly tempted by thedramatic stainless-steel bull’s head on its charred wood plinth, it was therather more gentle and poetic FemaleTorso (pictured, £1,900) that finally came home with us. Cast in bronze resin – amaterial that looks like bronze but is lighter and warmer to the touch – it is a gloriously curvaceousand extraordinarily tactile representation of a woman’s back.
After somedeliberation (should she go in the sitting room to be viewed by all or in thehallway where she would be rather nicely off-set by a charcoal drawing), wedecided to put her in our bedroom, where she catches the evening sunlight andbrings us daily pleasure.