Upon viewing the sculptor Alasdair Thomson’s flowing, dreamy garments, you might be transported to the sunlit meadows of a William-Adolphe Bouguereau painting filled with young, fresh-faced girls in flowing white sundresses. On second glance, however, the clothes reveal themselves to be carved from hard, cold marble. The artist, using hanging outfits borrowed from his friends as unusual muses, renders miraculously enlivened clothing from the durable material, dresses that seem to dance in the wind despite remaining entirely immobile.
Here, Thomson, who holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Edinburg, reinterprets the Renaissance and classical treatment of marble; in the stead of Michelangelo’s strapping David or ancient tributes to mythological heroes, he presents simple, delicate, and feminine attire. The juxtaposition of soft content with sturdy material compels the viewer to consider deeper themes, and as these cottony sculptures hang convincingly from hangers, the everyday is elevated to a level as significant and moving as ancient mythologies. Notably, the clothes are also fetchingly modern; in the place of togas, Shine carves belted jumpers and strapless gowns.
While marble art historically has usually been used to express the powerful eroticism of both the male and female body, these hanging garments maintain a charming innocence. Seen in pale white and adorned with frills and ruffles, they wait to be inhabited by a body that will never arrive; limply, they fall and strain against the hanger. Indeed, the pieces are delightful, and viewers might be covetous them, if only they could actually be slipped over human bodies. (via Oddity Central and Colossal)
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