By Yasmijn Jarram

At first glance, Thom Puckey’s heavy marble nudes appear severe and classical. This contrasts with the provocative or threatening poses adopted by the white, polished torsos of the girls. They are often holding onto a weapon, which varies from guns and rifles to knives and daggers – whether or not poised to attack. Details such as a SS-cap or missing arms serve only to render the import even more diffuse. Are these women sovereign heroines or simply silly puppets?

Puckey bases his detailed female figures on the American phenomenon ‘chicks with guns’: women who adopt sexy poses while holding large weapons. The artist uses marble, which is traditionally regarded as a ‘distinguished’ material, for his makeover of the Google-illustrations that originated in popular culture. While the internet images are ephemeral and superficial, creating these statues demanded a long creative process: a clay or plaster version is first made of each marble statue. The unremitting clash of beauty and skill with violence and banality gives these works an impact that is both alienating and poetic.