Around five years ago I did some experiments with plaster and textiles, experimenting with pouring plaster into balloons or over felt vessels. You can read about it here on my previous blog.

It never really went anywhere, but it meant I could definitely relate to the fragile, evocative work by Maria Bartuszová at Tate Modern. This Slovakian artist was inspired by playing with her young daughter, creating abstract shapes by pouring plaster into balloons.

In what she called “gravistimulated shaping”, she poured plaster into condoms and small rubber balloons, often submerging them in water, so that the weight of the plaster helped shape the final pieces.

Later, she poured plaster onto the outside of balloons, creating fragile, hollow shapes reminiscent of eggshells. Sometimes she layered them to create what she called “endless eggs”.

In later works she inserted natural objects such as tree branches into solidifying plaster and experimented with bound forms.

Maria Bartuszová runs at Tate Modern until 23 April 2023.

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