John Davies William Jeffrey with Device 1972

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Artwork details

Artist
John Davies born 1946
Title
William Jeffrey with Device
Date 1972
Medium Polyester resin, fibreglass, wire, beads and steel
Dimensions Object: 305 x 203 x 394 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1972
Reference
T01578
Not on display

Display caption

This work is based on a cast taken from the head of a living model named William Jeffrey. Casting from life involves encasing the sitter's head in wet plaster. After this has hardened, the resulting mould is taken apart in sections, and from this a cast in fibreclass is made. The advantage of this process is that an exact facsimile of the subject's features is obtained. Despite their precision, Davies has observed that life casts communicate little about the subject's character. Also, this realistic cast incorporates the strange addition of cones of chicken wire placed over the face. Consequently, this head does not characterise an individual, but represents human personality in general.

August 2004

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