Lay Figures are life sized replicas of men, women and children, made for and to be used by artists to set the scene for studio painting. Made of a wooden skeleton structure, pivoted and hinged to move at every joint, the models are upholstered with horse hair and sometimes human hair padding and wadding, and are held together with layers of a stitched canvas. Every mannequin can be dressed up and used to hold a pose for as long as required. Removable papier-mache heads set the gaze and angle of the pose and allow hats and head gear to be fitted. The portraits would be added later by the artist. Lay Figures have been an essential yet hidden piece of studio equipment for hundreds of years.
A thought provoking and powerful exhibition that reaches far beyond the artist’s studio and into the very nature of the human condition.
I’m absolutely blown away by the show and really quite moved by the figures. I haven’t seen anything like this before.