Our chosen sculptor, Denise Dutton, has begun the early painstaking stages of her work. This will result in a small exact bronze model of what will eventually become the statue. Denise has been researching the clothing women of Mary Clarke’s time would have worn. She is already knowledgeable, because she sculpted the statue of suffragette Annie Kenney in Oldham. She has been working with an original dress of the time, loaned from the Hope Museum, Derbyshire. She’s studied the few photographs of Mary (we have no photographs of her whole body) and taken numerous photographs in Brighton and elsewhere. She has studied details of the borrowed dress, working with models to observe how the dress hangs on a live person.
Now work has begun on the ‘maquette’ , which, as she explains, is the name given to an artist’s study, sketch or model. A simple back bar supports the figure. She said “I’m using wax to form the study. It suits detailed smaller models but is more labour intensive than clay, requiring to be heated to make it malleable. Once a stick version of the body is formed and attached to the back bar the wax can be applied and filled out to form the figure.” We are looking forward to bringing you further reports and photographs.