Stokes Account on Modelling

T.K. Sabapathy

Footnote 16, Chapter 3, of the author's Arts and Thoughts which Singapore National Museum published in 1998. It appears in the Post Colonial Web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright.

Adrian Stokes advances an incisive account of modelling and in the process distinguishes it from carving; he does so with language that is poetic and profound. "Modelling", he says, "is more purely plastic creation; it makes things, it does not disclose, as a face, the significance of what already exist. The modeller imbues spatial objects with the animus and calculation of inner life. He projects the lively feeling, though not as a disclosed state. He accumulates force and directions: he does not reveal an accumulation, an augmentation upon the surface, a mere outwardness." "Carving" on the other hand, "creates a face on the stone"; it is "an augmentation upon the surface. A rose facing outward from the stem. A face, the outward part, the augmentation of all that is within the head. Nothing else in life, it seems to me, is as final, as concrete-seeming, as this kind of manifestation conveyed by certain forms, the one miraculous sensation of fullness." Stokes, A., 'Carving and Modelling', in The Image in Form. Selected Writings of Adrian Stokes, edited by Richard Wollheim, Penguin Books, London, 1972, p. 47-48.

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Last updated: 11 January 2001