Kathy Dalwood at m i n t

Mint is pleased to present works by Kathy Dalwood, a respected and innovative British artist and designer with a constantly expanding portfolio in the context of visual art and design. Mint is currently exhibiting a selection of wall Friezes and concrete figurines, which were also on show for this year’s London Design Festival.

Tudor Frieze 03

Tudor Friezes

Kathy’s inspiration for designing Tudor Friezes comes from the Tudor Galleries at the National Portrait Gallery as she explains below:

Ideas creep up on you slowly and for a period of time you find yourself being drawn to something visual without fully understanding what it is that intrigues you, what you are going to do about it and where it fits in with your work.

This happened to me in relation to the Tudor Galleries at the National Portrait Gallery. During my visits to the NPG over the last few years I always found myself gravitating towards the portraits of Tudor monarchs and nobles, not being able quite to identify what drew me there.

Picture 1

For a few years I’ve been interested in the interpretation of an organic material such as fabric in the dense medium of plaster or concrete. A fluid material like  silk, in reality full of life and movement, is rendered solid and impassive and this transposition is emphasised when casts are taken directly from the fabric itself.  Figurative sculpture had been the main reference for these ideas.

In the Tudor portraits I realized that the artists had also put fabric through a transformation but in their case had represented a very three-dimensional object in two dimensions, taking away all the volume of the original.  Despite being wholly figurative in genre, the portraits also have a very minimalist, restrained and abstract quality in their design which resonated with my interest in Modernism.

The parts of the costumes which I found most intriguing were the ruffs which struck me as the most stylized type of garment one could imagine; not collars, but large, abstract, immobile structures – more like sculpture than clothing.

Tudor Frieze 05

Increasingly perceiving these ruffs as sculptures, gradually I began to see why I had been drawn to the Tudor portraits initially. In a further and final transformation I have returned these unreal two-dimensional portrayals back to their real dimension, and by casting them in plaster have rendered them even more rigid and inflexible than the original.”

Tudor Frieze 04[1]

Tudor Friezes are made of plaster and are for indoor use only. Concrete Friezes can be commissioned for outdoor use, price on application.

Dims: 30 x 30cm

Concrete Figurines

The figurines in this collection are rough concrete re-casts of porcelain and plaster originals, hunted down in backwaters from Thrift stores in the Appalachian mountains to flea markets in France and Belgium. Below, Kathy explains the story behind these beautiful concrete sculptures:

Meandering through the backwoods of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina two years ago, we happened on a rambling Thrift Store literally in the middle of nowhere. The temptation to see what junk they could possibly have assembled in such a remote backwater was too great, so we pulled up.

For some time I had been developing a fascination for 18th & 19th century figurative sculpture – Rodin being the prime example – and was looking for a way to work with this.  It was one of those eureka moments when I came up with the idea of taking moulds from carefully selected existing figurines, and re-casting them in monochrome concrete.  Positioned on plinths, despite their diminutive scale they seemed to take on the very monumentality I had been attracted to in the sculptures and civic statues I’d been looking at.


Three of the four figurines in the Mint collection were found during a recent trip to Tennessee.  I had just about given up hope one day, trawling through roadside ‘antique’ stores in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, until there, collecting dust on a top shelf of the 2nd floor at Riverside Antique Mall, was Knoxville Girl!


Chattanooga Girl, in her former life, was a ‘chalk ware’ hoopla prize from a 1940s fun fair, and with her dog and grin, a somewhat raunchier version of her English sister, the bonneted Seaside Girl found resting demurely in a south coast junk shop. Fraught with a mixture of disappointment and elation – my compulsive figurine search goes on!”


Specially commissioned for mint

For more information and prices please call +44 207 225 2228 or email info@mintshop.co.uk

1 comment
  1. Great blog and the web-site display of products is inspiring and amazing in equal measures!

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