Street Sculpture - A dripping tentacle emerges from concrete. It's the Kraken's arm, made from the wood of ships that he sank through the ages.
The Hundred Houses Tree
This installation was made in 2014 for the village of Les Voivres (Vosges Dpt, France) in the cultural trail D'Ici Eau Az'Art.
The spiral, composed of hundreds deadwood rods found around the tree, is 16 feet tall and rests on a suspended structure which required 1,100 yards of natural ropes.
The great beech which supports the installation had to be cut down for sawmill, and was pardoned due to the artistic intervention.
Here is the artist's notes on his work, taken from the exhibition catalog:
"A helical spiral made of multiple branches and twigs embraces the trunk of a hardwood: this is the Hundred Houses Tree. This large site-specific installation is completely biodegradable. The shape is formed by a multitude of braided branches cylinders that evokes traditional native home construction, leaving visible the slice logs. These elements are attached to each other to build a cellular architecture with organic forms, which wraps around the host tree without hurting it.
The resulting pattern is reminiscent of both the natural microscopic structures (animal and plant cells), and animal designs (nests, hives). This virtual transition from micro to macro is also emphasized by the overall shape of the sculpture, a cone that widens as it approaches the ground. Finally, the spiral represents an evolution over the timeline and wound around the drum, symbolizing the healing power of nature like a giant caduceus. Visually, the installation marks the forest landscape by highlighting its immediate environment, yet it incorporates an almost cryptic manner through the use of native materials.
The making of the sculpture is based on extremely simple and reproducible techniques. The use of materials from the surrounding environment ensures ecological neutrality of the work. Thus, the many cavities and interstices formed by the structure supports for the development of a rich biodiversity. Epiphytic plants (mosses, ferns) find their place on the dead wood, first attracting microfauna (insects, molluscs) and other animals (birds, small mammals) that will find a home in the multitude of "houses" installed for them. Eventually, a complete ecosystem should grow up in and around the facility, promoting local biological wealth.
The sculpture behaves like an "artificial reef" applied to forest biotope, attracting to itself the fauna and flora. It is the image of biological diversity that has increased over time as a cornucopia, while also a remarkable aesthetic object. It invites the viewer to contemplate the wild world and encourages him to think about its place in the evolution of life."
This work was made in 2014 for the city of Cannes (Alpes-Maritimes Dpt, France) during the "Between earth and sea" trail in the offshore island of Sainte-Marguerite.
The title of this site-specific artwork, which literally means "crown of thorns" in Latin, is inspired by the diadem-urchin, a protected Mediterranean species. The 17 feet in diameter sculpture is placed between two biotopes, evoking both a terrestrial plant structure or a marine animal. It is a metaphorical picture of humanity that deals damage to itself by neglecting its environment.
Thorns are made with Provence canes (which gave their name to the city famous for its film festival) that vibrate in the wind. These stems of reeds, like the green oak heart of the urchin, were harvested on site during long hiking explorations in the island. As a matter of fact the giant urchin is both graphic and soundy when the Mistral blows, nearly living.
"Mineral ocean" is an ephemeral installation that roped up a spectacular block of pink granite during the Equinoxe festival in Trebeurden, french Brittany, during the king tides in 2013.
The rock is strung on a mesh that adapts to the natural shape and marries the volume, bringing out its contours. This "cocoon" is connected by straight lines at attachment points on the beach. that make a semi-circle around the swaddled stone. The lines are visually marking the connections between lifeless elements and biodiversity in the intertidal zone. The ropes are made of sisal and colored with natural red pigments to not impact the site, and the artist used 1852 meters (one marine mile) of this material to dress the 150 tons granite monument.
The graphical impact of the work in the landscape is important, while adopting an airy appearance. The aim is to highlight an element of the landscape without masking it, to attract the eye of observers without hurting their visual sensitivity. Thus, the perception of a familiar landscape is changed by a refined artistic intervention in accordance with the place.
This artwork let us think that the foreshore, a constantly changing environment, houses a remarkable and very particular biodiversity cohabiting with human activity during low tides. At high tide, man, earthly by nature, tends to forget that under the mass of the ocean the life is in full swing. Yet, whatever the hour, links and exchanges between the earth and the sea allow the maintenance of biodiversity in the intertidal zone. Lithocéan is a visible reminder of these complex relationships, which questions the place of human kind in his environment.
This site-specific work was commissioned in 2013 by the city of Nantes (Loire-Atlantique, France) for the Art and Nature trail of the Renaudières natural area in Carquefou. This low-relief sculpture on a pond, measuring 9 feet large, represents a stylized and magnified endangered plant species.
Abstract from exhibition catalog:
"The Delicate Coleanthe (Coleanthus subtilis Seidl, 1817) is an annual plant that grows mainly on the banks of ponds at low altitude. This grass is the only representative of an archaic group of plants that disappeared from North America and Europe following the destruction of their natural habitats. The heritage value of the species is therefore considered important, especially as the unique existing populations are confined to a few departments in France.
This very special status makes it a symbol of the global loss of biodiversity, and is a strong example of the overall lack of interest to small species. Yet this plant, totally unknown by the public, is cited in many acts of legislation and mentioned on several biological diversity protection lists.
This plant is the image of a contemporary paradox: messages for the preservation of the environment are increasing, though still an endangered species has no chance to survive if it is not publicized. In other words, the fate of a living being is determined by the value that humanity put in it.
The objective of Subtle Arborescence is to magnify a small species, invisible to the untrained eye, to make it visible to all in a symbolic representation of the relationships between living things and their environment. The principle of the work is to hold a general discourse on global loss of biodiversity, departing from a small highly localized species. Its title evokes both the Latin epithet of the species subtilis and the global network principle symbolized by the Celtic tree of life. It also tells the viewer that the balance of the living world is a delicate alchemy that requires the support of all the common forms of life without exception.
Sculpture in itself is a simplified representation of Coleanthus subtilis reflected on the surface of a liquid extent. From symmetry created by the water line is born another image, a symbol of unwavering exchanges between the elements, that reflect the links between all the actors of living nature.
The white color is chosen for its western symbolic, but also serves the graphic aspect of the work, which contrasts with its immediate environment. In order to respect the site and the biotope, the work is performed in local pine and tinged with a biodegradable whitewash made with natural chalk. "
This monumental sculpture, commissioned by the city of Nogent-sur-Vernisson (Loiret, France) in 2013, measures 15 feet tall and is carved in a trunk of Sequoia sempervirens fallen at the age of 110 years, weighing nearly 2,000 pounds after cutting. The carving work was made in Les Barres National Arboretum before moving the sculpture.
The title Liberarbos is formed of root liber, meaning "freedom" or designate "bark" in Latin, and arbos in the meaning of "taller" and refers to the tree. Literally, the name can be translated as The freedom-tree which represents the inalienable sovereignty of the individual, "the most sacred of his rights taken from nature" for Robespierre. The three flames spread, erect to heaven is a contemporary representation of the flame of freedom, which echoes the work of Bartholdi. The fire symbolism is here taken as light-producing element, as the flame guiding the viewer and his mind. The whole shape of curved lines and elegant graphics gives the image of a light and airy structure. Located crossroads, this sculpture is visually striking while preserving the rural aspect of its environment.
Inspired by the theme of freedom, first republican principle, this sculpture symbolizes the right of every living being to flourish without constraints other than those imposed by the freedom of the people around. The question asked to the viewer is: to maintain the balance of our environment, is it not necessary to apply the principle of freedom to the entire living world? By its symbolic and iconic dimensions, Liberarbos is a sculpture that can encourage the public to engage in a dialogue on this issue, physically marking the birth of a virtual forum. Beyond its aesthetic force, this work therefore invited to reconsider the place of man in the heart of biodiversity, through the universal principle of "living free".
This 10 feet in diameter wood sculpture was made in response to a tender offer of the French National Forest Authority. The work took place during the 2012 Forest Art Biennale in Tronçais forest (Allier, France) and was upright in the forest entrance called Rollay Horn.
Extract from the exhibition catalog :
"A monumental wooden carved ring emerges from the ground : this is Transeosilva, the "passage through the forest" which invites visitors to become aware of the immense wealth of nature, as an initiation rite for contemplation.
The circular sculpture rooted in the earth is a window guiding the eye to the sylvan majesty, but also a door to enter the forest. Its shapes are organic, evoking the roots and branches of plants, but also the veins and organs of animals. Interlaced patterns symbolize the living unit, the fact that man and nature have a common purpose and that the fate of every living being is closely dependent on the others. These random shapes forming a geometric figure show that the apparent complexity of disorderly forest comes into reality in a very precise balancing scheme, acquired in the evolutionary time to give birth to the current biodiversity.
Crossing Transeosilva is a profound symbolic act that intimate respect for the forest and more generally for the nature. This passage also invites to observe biological and aesthetic diversity of the site without disturbing it, being a simple way, a contemplative traveler devoid of any sense of exploitation."
This fleeting Intervention shows to the viewer the drawing of an ellipse from a single vantage point.
This is a metaphor of the Landes forest in Aquitaine region. For some, it is one of the finest and largest forest in Europe, for others it is the first major ecological disaster perpetrated by man in France. Indeed, thousands of pine trees were planted in the 19th century to "clean up" this marshy area, destroying all wetlands and any associated wildlife. Note that the forest ecosystem currently in place shows one of the lower rate of biodiversity in Europe.