My approach when working with any artistic media, is that of trying to get the most from the materials I use, but I could not say I have been successful with all the techniques I have used so far. The presence of an object is where materiality and form meet up. The action of molding a lump of clay or the casting of an object is where body or material realities leave a stamp, a mark or a trace. Sculpture has been proven to be the most suitable media for my artistic aims.
Inward and outward expression of the body, expansion and contraction define the qualities of the traces and imprints of towering clay lumps that are an expansive image of the body as well as a twisting object in a transitory mood set in space. Clay is a material of hybrid nature, water allows to keep it alive, making it liable to change. Once dry, fluxes stop its transitory nature, and clay becomes a remain of what was moldable in the past, a mark or trace of what it was once in time.
The metallic tonalities of the clay lumps in my artworks are very much related to something essential to the ongoing process to which our world is subjected, the drama of life and death. They, as in a metamorphosis, become hard, sovereign materials like bronze when covered in wax. Sealing the clay in time, the process of becoming a hard mineral is a reflection or memory of the Genesis of the Universe. “Genesis, or rather this “moment” of creation where all elements composing it were still melted down, confused together in one same and unique substance, a same All, and where the “becoming stone” of this All constituted at that time a malleable material, fluid, alive.” (Penone 1997, p. 14)
The ‘earthiness’ of clay, bronze and steel suggest a strong relationship with what we call ‘matter’, dust or elements that have endured the pass of time at the cost of changing biologically into other materials. Ashes or dust is what prevails from humans, creatures or vegetables of any kind. They are in a loop defined by Alpha and Omega. What Penone calls ‘All’, includes human bodies too. A dynamic world made of matter that became later on animals, vegetables or even humans. But some of that complex mass became a mineral, a stone, making readable the evolutionary process of our world. A frozen image of what it was full of life millions of years ago, a fossil.