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Cheaper by The Pound?

6 Apr 2022

photo:Hannele Lahti

In the USA the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, is clebrating Women's History Month 2022 with 120 life-size orange sculptures representing real contemproary women in STEM; biologists, engineers and physicists.They are claiming it as "the largest collection of statues of women ever assembled together...designed to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers," The women portrayed in the statues had their bodies 3D-scanned. A 3D printer created the sculptures using layers of acrylic gel, a process that took about 10 hours for each one. This is reminiscent of the statues of sportswomen on the South Bank in London, also 3D scanned. 

And whilst it is always good to see women's achievements celebrated, ( even if the sportswomen's images were also used to promote the Adidas sports bras! ) this mass method does rather smack of being "cheaper by the pound".  One wonders where they will eventually be housed, how the materials will stand the test of time and whether the skill and respect of a statue made by a sculptor and cast in bronze might not be a more worthy tribute.