Piano Blanket Series

Who is she, Challen & Who is she, model D, Wool & nylon blankets, thread, wood, May 2021, shown as part of MA Sculpture Royal College of Art online show, RCA 2021, Photographed by Harry Gammer-Flitcroft. See text below.
Who is she, model O
Who is she, baby grand & Who is she, Challen
Who is she, baby grand detail
Who is she, Challen detail

Who is she, model D detail

Who is she, Challen detail
Who is she, baby grand & Who is she, Challen

I’ve watched my dad restore pianos since I was a child. Instead of ‘proper’ covers, he would strap my grandma’s old wool and nylon blankets to the pianos to regulate their temperatures and preserve their casework. As an adult, I realised I’d learned to care, preserve, repurpose, and mend things by watching my dad at work.

The blankets looked humorous, humble, and vulnerable with their vintage colour palettes, but had a deep strength in their dense wool and latticed structures. I wanted to bring the blankets, which usually have a secondary role in protecting the pianos, to the forefront. To give the blankets the care and attention I thought they deserved I stitched them together and stretched them around bespoke frames.To make the frames, we made templates out of flexible wood directly from four different sized pianos that my dad had been restoring. The titles of these blankets point to questions around my identity, but at the same time reflect on what these pieces are and where they sit in between sculpture, painting, textiles, and craft. They’re named after the model of piano on which their frames were moulded: two Steinways and two Challens.

Who is she, baby grand (143cm x 129cm), Who is she, model O (150cm x 167cm), Who is she, model D (263cm x 160cm) & Who is she, Challen (347cm x 168cm)

Piano Blanket Series May 2021 With thanks to the photographer Harry Gammer-Flitcroft, and to my dad, uncle, and brother for making the frames for me, and Chris Day for editing photos.

From left, Who is she, baby grand, Who is she, Challen & Who is she, model D