Dorothy Love
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Review Date Review

Like other girls of her generation, Dorothy Love played with Barbie dolls. And like many other children, she liked to morph them - plugging legs into arm sockets, switching heads, and pulling out hair.

Love parlays her continuing fascination with the iconography of body parts in Private Parts, a series of 12 figural sculptures she calls "dazed and deconstructed beauties."

The female figures ranging from 60 to 182 centimetres. The most animated are the smallest figures mounted on glass bricks. The richly detailed figures appear totemic, with elongated necks and features rendered in terracotta and stoneware. Love adds girlie touches, gold streaks for the hair, and makeup and lipstick sealed with wax.

Bronze legs and arms are rendered in coloured patinas with funky shoes that look like they walked out of a John Fluevog shop. Erect nipples appear on the outside of dresses, something Love said was a play on "the idea of outerwear, inner wear."

In the larger figures that stand on the floor, Love starts with a curvaceous wire form, wrapping it with fiberglass casting tape (the kind used in hospitals for broken bones). The tape has the appearance of gauze, which is then painted to resemble clothing.

"There was something appealing about the whole bandage, bondage idea, and how women repress, reshape and subdue their bodies," said Love in an interview at her studio.

Love, who studied art at St. George's College in Montreal, also cites the influence of the ancient Greek custom of painting statuary.

Private Parts is on at Arts Court (2 Daly Ave.) for one weekend only: Friday, December 6 (opening at 6 p.m.), Saturday, December 7 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, December 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Dorothy Love: Celebration of Life, 2001
ROSE ANNE HOFFENBERG - Ottawa Jewish Bulletin

Prepare yourself as you enter the lobby of Hillel Lodge to feel a great sense of joy as you look at the two bronze sculptures by Dorothy Love. These male and female dancers, installed on either side of the fireplace mantel, invite you to recall a moment of inner radiance that you have experienced sometime during your life. It may not have occurred during a dance, as it has with these two figures, nevertheless Love has brilliantly captured a time when each of us has experienced a strong, personal emotion. The sculptor invites the individual residents at Hillel Lodge to rekindle that memorable, euphoric moment.

I met with the artist in front of her works and quickly realized that she has put much of herself into these figures. Certainly their attire differs - the sculptures wear Sephardic headdresses and robes - yet their energy, strong features, confident bearing and gestures, can all be noted in the artist as well as in her bronzes. It is little wonder. Love assumes the various gestures before she assigns them to her sculptures and she leaves her imprint on the clay as she gives it form and vitality. Love confessed, she adopts her figures with the affection of a family member.

The long robes, cap and turban (see photograph) give these figures a timeless quality that surpasses the latest contemporary fashion, so that they are as accessible to the 90 year resident as they are to the two year old visitor to Hillel Lodge. The figure's anatomy under the drapery convinces us that they have the strength to dance all night, to achieve that moment of pure bliss, and the light playing on the folds of the drapery increases the illusion of movement.

Love defined the procedure to me: she relinquishes her unique clay model to a mold manufacturer in Toronto and then to the foundry, The Crucible, in Tweed, Ontario, who proceeds with the "lost wax" technique. The experts at the foundry hand cast and hand finish her sculptures, but she explained, they work closely together at every step, and therefore there are several opportunities for her to make last-minute changes.

The artist would like to acknowledge the professionalism of the artisans at The Crucible. And the Jewish community would like to thank Bea Greenberg for her generous donation, which enabled Dorothy Love to execute this commission, Celebration of Life.