Celebrated British Olympians to star as sculptures in exhibition
Friday, 27 April 2012
April 27 - World-leading body casting sculptor Louise Giblin is set to launch a special exhibition in London, entitled "Body Casting Olympians", next month.
It will showcase five British current and former athletes, including London 2012 gymnastics medal contender Beth Tweddle.
Tweddle is joined in the exhibition by Olympic champions Dame Kelly Holmes and Sally Gunnell, triple Olympic medallist Kriss Akabusi (pictured above with Giblin) and four-times Paralympic swimming medallist Darren Leach.
Each sculpture focuses on physical power and personal triumph with the back appearing as stripped and stylised and the front displaying detailed imagery of the Union Flag and the individual athlete's self-chosen 'greatest achievement'.
The exhibition, which will take place in the Mall Galleries in London from May 21 to 26, will raise funds for Headfirst, the brain-injury charity.
Tweddle selected her 2009 World Championship victory at London's O2 Arena as her greatest triumph.
Holmes chose her double gold medal-winning performance in the 800 and 1500 metres at Athens 2004 while Gunnell picked her triumph in the 400 metres hurdles at Barcelona 1992.
Akabusi chose his Olympic silver medal-winning achievement from the 4x400m relay at Los Angeles 1984 while Leach selected the four medals he won at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.
Using a special technique involving body casting a model and applying designs to the surface of the resulting clay torso, Giblin's unique sculpture is then moulded by professional technician Lorraine Grandi.
Each sculpture is reproduced in a limited edition of up to 12 in cold-cast metals or bronze.
The athletes will each receive one example of the £9,960 ($16,000/€ 12,000) cold-cast sculptures to keep or sell to raise money for charity, with others from the series being sold with a proportion of the funds going to Headfirst.
Tweddle, who is to sell her sculpture (pictured above) for charity, said she had enjoyed the process of being sculpted.
"It was an amazing experience with some funny memories – these and photos of the finished piece will be treasured forever," she said.
"I like the fact that my achievements can make a real contribution towards this worthwhile charity."
Akabusi, who will be speaking at the launch of the exhibition in May, also expressed his delight in the finished sculpture of himself.
"Having my chest shaved as smooth as a baby's bottom and being stuck in a cast for an hour are small prices to pay to have my body image preserved for time and eternity," he said.
"So I'm very excited to see the finished article."
Giblin, elected as an Associate to the Royal British Society of Sculptors in 2010, said she had enjoyed working with the athletes.
"I'm impressed by people who commit to goals with determination as this makes them powerful," she said.
"These Olympians are awe-inspiring both physically and mentally.
"This has been a great opportunity for me to work with extraordinary people, celebrate British success and help raise money for a worthwhile cause."