Quinn has made a number of sculptures of Alison Lapper. As first evidenced in his series, The Complete Marbles, he is drawn to subjects that present images of 'incomplete' bodies. The works explore the contradictions between our outside appearance and inner being. They celebrate imperfection and the beauty of different kinds of bodies as well as the strength and vitality of the human spirit.
Having made a life-size sculpture of Alison Lapper when she was pregnant in 2000 and one of her and her son Parys later that same year, Quinn was commissioned by the Mayor of London in 2005 to make the large scale sculpture Alison Lapper Pregnant for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. The sculpture was carved from white marble, weighs 13 tonnes and stands 3.55 metres high.
Above: Alison Lapper is covered in plaster of Paris in Marc’s studio to make a mould of her body.
From this mould a life-size maquette is made in resin which is then used as a guide to carve the large marble sculpture in Italy.
The marble is carved at a studio in Pietrasanta, using marble sourced from a quarry in Carrera which can be seen below.
Above: A view from inside the mountain at the Carrera marble quarry.
The block of Bianco P marble from which the sculpture will be carved is extracted from the ceiling within the main mountain. The block is allowed to crash to the floor to test it for faults or cracks.
Using tools and techniques that have hardly changed for centuries the sculpture is carved by hand, by reference to the life-size maquette.
A close up of the head and neck during production and, right, Alison Lapper and her son Parys visit the marble studio in April 2005 to see the work in progress.
Marc in August 2005 with the sculpture nearing completion and the original life-size maquette on the left.