Beth Tweddle, the medal-winning Olympic gymnast whose latest triumph has been on hit TV series Dancing on Ice, says her partnership with a sculptor for a body cast will make for a "brilliant" work when it is presented at the Museum of Liverpool this week.
A year before her heroics on the world stage, Tweddle spent an hour under plaster-filled bandage at her Liverpool flat, where Louise Giblin, of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, recreated her body before transporting the cast to her Sussex studio.
© Louise Giblin
“I got involved because it was something completely different,” says Tweddle, who will officially receive her gold doppelganger in a ceremony at the flagship museum.
“After seeing some examples, I became really interested in Louise's work.
© Louise Giblin
“It was a very strange feeling to actually have the body cast done. I had to stand still for an hour, which was a difficult task for me.
“I was also completely covered in what was like paper mache. It was pretty heavy by the time the cast was around me.
“It was worth it, though – I think the end result is brilliant.
“I love the fact that Louise has been able to incorporate different aspects of my career, with the main theme being London."
Giblin reinforced the 10kg cast for its journey south.
“The Museum of Liverpool team could not have been more helpful,” she says.
"I love Liverpool and remember the coverage when the museum opened; it’s an extraordinary space.
“They admire Beth and have gone to a lot of trouble to show my sculpture in her home town.”
The museum already holds a leotard Tweddle wore to silvery glory at the European Championships, as well as one of the medals from the Liverpool team’s British title win and some of the hand guards and gym shoes the athlete trains in.
“Liverpool is very proud of Beth,” says Paul Gallagher, the Curator of Contemporary Collection at the venue.
“We are really pleased to be able to display Louise’s sculpture of Beth in our Atrium space.
“It’s a beautiful piece, which I’m sure our visitors will enjoy.”