Walker – From Sketch to Sculpture

emma-rodgers-dancer-100From Sketch to Sculpture by Emma Rodgers.
28 April to 6 July 2010

A stunning 8ft bronze sculpture of a female dancer by local artist Emma Rodgers, takes centre stage at the Walker Art Gallery.The Dancer captures a moment in mid-performance. The curve of the figure’s back and the outstretched limbs are reminders of the beauty and elegance of her movement and yet the physical strain and effort to achieve it.

The high-arched feet of the sculpture mirror the distinctive shape of a dancer’s feet, shaped by years of practice.

The display, Emma Rodgers: From Sketch to Sculpture, reveals the journey from the artist’s imagination to reality. The sculpture is accompanied by preparatory sketches and photographs taken by Rodgers as visual aids. There is also a photograph of the maquette, which Rodgers employed to test her ideas out in 3D and replicas of a foot of the sculpture at various stages in the casting process, revealing how the method known as the”lost wax process” works.

Rodgers says: “As an artist I am interested in energy, confrontation, curiosity, interaction and movement. With The Dancer I seek to capture a moment that conveys her grace and poise while simultaneously conveying the physical exertion on the body.

“My mother brought me to the Walker Art Gallery from a very young age, so it is quite magical to be part of a place I have such a personal affinity with. It was important to me that The Dancer, which has a strong connection to Liverpool, was seen by a Liverpool audience.”

Rodgers began to use dancers in her work in 2005 when she was introduced to Ch4pter, a contemporary dance group based in Liverpool. The Dancer is a portrait of Sophie Paratte, one of the first dance graduates from the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA). Rodgers represents this link to Liverpool by recreating the city’s skyline on the sculpture.

This display is a continuation of the Walker Art Gallery’s celebration of female artists. The Rise of Women Artists, which runs until 1 August 2010 charts the progress of female artists from the 16th century to the present day with an exhibition made up entirely of the gallery’s own holdings. Ahead of its time in collecting works by women artists the scope and range of work is outstanding. Rodger’s sculpture, Monkey Mother and Child features in the section of the exhibition which explores the contribution of women to contemporary art.

The gallery is also host to Dare to Wear: Glass Dresses by Diana Dias-Leão a stunning display of beautiful but deadly garments on show until 30 September 2011. Not made for practical wear this collection of couture sculpture is designed to create discussion and debate about issues around beauty and body image.

Free events

Capturing a moment in time
19 April 2010 11-12.30pm or 2-3.30pm

Join artist Emma Rodgers for a rare opportunity to see her sculpting live on gallery.  Working from photos and sketches of dancer Sophie Parette, Rodgers will use the soft slab hand building technique to create a porcelain sculpture which focuses on form and movement. Collect a ticket from the welcome desk.

From Sketch to Sculpture
21 May and 2 June 2010

Curator Charlotte Keenan explores the motivations and techniques behind Emma Rodgers’ sculpture The Dancer.

Collect a ticket from the welcome desk.

Emma Rodgers: From Sketch to Sculpture is linked to Liverpool’s Year of Health and Wellbeing, a city-wide initiative for people to join together and make positive changes to their health and the way they feel about themselves. Find out more: www.2010healthandwellbeing.org.uk

Venue Details

Emma Rodgers – The Dancer