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Charlotte Kidger’s Crumbling Columns, Made From Foam Dust, Are Perfect For This Moment in Time

In April, just as the world was beginning to shut down, Central St Martin’s grad Charlotte Kidger got a phone call from Browns Fashion in London, who wanted her to create a window display for the store’s flagship on South Molton Street. Four months and 19 sculptures later, Kidger’s work is on view until September 7, highlighting the store’s iconic accessories collection. Though Browns is now open with social distancing measures in place, there has perhaps been no better time to advocate for window shopping, and Kidger’s work seems particularly right for this moment. The pieces for Browns are an extension of her graduate project, which we featured back in 2018, and they reference the ruins of a once-great civilization with their corrugated circular forms and crumbled edges.

All 19 sculptures are made with a mix of polyurethane foam dust (collected locally from CNC factories in and around London) and hand-dyed resin, and all feature a saturated, watercolor-like palette. “When it came to casting the columns, it was a lengthy four-hour process carefully casting each color in layers into the mold,” Kidger explains. “Left to set for two days I was unsure how the colors were going to merge together. To my pleasant surprise the first column was one of my favorite pieces to de-mold. The colors had merged together like a painting and the depth of texture was something I had never created before. After working with this self-developed material for two years, I am still learning so much about it.”

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