Technique and condition

This work is an assemblage of eighty-three small mixed media sculptures composed of bought, reformed and modelled elements. The sculpture is made of a variety of materials, mostly plastics.

The majority of the figures are made from an injected moulded plastic. Other parts have been modelled. As artist Jake Chapman explained in an interview in July 1998, most of the figures and accessories used for kit model making were bought from hobby shops. The artists then reformed the parts by cutting them with hot knives before gluing them back together with Super glue or epoxy resin glues. The naked figures were made by stripping figures of their clothes with scalpels. Some of the parts and figures, for example the clothes and baby figures, were modelled by the artists with an epoxy putty called Milliput. The bases for all the units were modelled with polyester resin. The figures were fixed to them by pushing them in the resin as it cured. The bases were then painted with enamel paint, sprinkled with grit. The grass, made from synthetic fibres, was adhered to the top of the grit with PVA glue. All the figures have been painted with enamel paint bought from a hobby shop.

Upon acquisition, the work arrived in a good condition. A few loose parts had to be consolidated and two parts needed to be fixed back into position. In order to prevent viewers from touching the pieces and to protect the work form dust, Jake Chapman has agreed to display the work under a clear Perspex cover.

In the future, the plastics and epoxy resin might continue to change. It is possible that the paint might lift and flake in certain areas with time. The artist has agreed to have the paint consolidated and retouched if necessary, and should some cracks appear on any of the pieces, the artist has specified he wants them to be filled.

Michẻle Lepage / Bryony Bery
May 2000 / April 2004