the practice —
Welcome in the practice section.
Here I share some current elements of thinking that inform my practice.
You can choose to read.
You can also close your eyes and dive into the soundscape from one of my walks in the forest to the studio. (player below)
Disclaimer / reading time 8-10 minutes
Some days, I walk to the studio. A 35 minutes walk alone in the forest. An outdoor interlude to be here now. This is part of my practice.
I’ve been thinking about the geological times that we can hardly grasp. The many mineral formations scattered in the forests surrounding the studio keep on inspiring me in the deepest way, it is a strong feeling, beyond words.
My collection Rauk&Fels comes from this admiration. When we took pictures of some of my works in a local stone quarry, I had the same feeling, like they somehow belonged there. This continues my thinking on the links between rock and clay.
— The evolution of the relationship between Man and Nature in connection with the decline of the bonds between life, art and nature. Which leads me to prehistory. Their art was fully imbedded in daily life. It holds at the same time the strength of expression as a need and the innocence of the first times. Ancient civilizations that existed well before 0, created mesmerizing cultures that are the foundations of our era.
Working with clay feels like a lineage with these times. Hands in the now are working with the same material as then, with the same primordial connection to clay.
It transcends time and space. I honor and explore this open field of possibilities with instinct and innocence.
clay from the past —
The discovery of clay and pottery played a major role in the settlement of the human population. Fire transforms clay into ceramic, a discovery that made cooking and storing food possible.
Did pottery boost the birth of agriculture or was it the other way around?
Different theories support both theses. This discovery could not have been based on pure luck, because one must combine too many factors in order to succeed.
For French speakers interested in the topic - I recommend this episode of the incredible podcast “sur les épaules de Darwin" (on the shoulders of Darwin).
I think about the lost worlds that engendered us and the countless people that made objects with clay over thousands years.
I feel like there is a lineage, something very personal, that runs through my reptilian being and somehow guides and influences my practice. Something that makes me want to bring the ancient to the now and to the future.
Symbols and symbolic meanings are an extended part of this interest.
Twyla Tharp put into words the importance of symbols and metaphors in human interactions and creative endeavors. She talks about the metaphor quotient: "Part of the human intelligence is the ability to transform the meaning of one thing into something else. Without symbols and the ability to understand them, there would be no writing, no numbers, no drama, no art. Everything we create is a representation of something else, enriched by me."
extend the mental map, create a conversation —
The podcast mentions that the first pieces of utilitarian pottery date from around 20 000 BC, but some art objects and sculptural relics made of clay date from 29 000 B.C, which is 9000 years earlier. Why separate art from life? And why separate artist from designer from craftsperson, when these capabilities can be embodied by one person?
Does function define the essence of the object?
When you say clay, very often the next word or image in people’s mind is pottery, functional or utilitarian objects. The idea is to extend the mental map, create a conversation and show people that you can have a plural identity working with clay, both in the work itself and your approach.
I’m interested in creating sculptures that are at crossroads and let people decide what they feel, and how they want to interact.