Gasp! This is the latest work from French sculptor Juliette Clovis. I wrote about her nature-covered busts in 2017, but these never-ending, scaly wonders took my breath away. I should say, I have a major snake phobia, but luckily, these aren’t snakes. I’ll let Juliette explain… poetically:
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“Manis Tetradactyla is a species of pangolin: a small long-tailed mammal living in West and Central Africa. Like the animal, thousands of porcelain scales interlock into each other and form a carapace which covers entirely the surface of the sculpture. The final shape draws an abstract line, invasive and sinuous, almost looking like snake curves. Like a gigantic Gordian knot, Manis Tetradactyla has neither beginning nor end. An hybrid and reptilian creature with an immaculate beauty born from Intertwined and sprawling forms .
The course of events seems then reversed. The cycle of life takes another turn and instead of disappearing, a new living being emerges from the pangolin’s scales. A powerful form springs out fragile porcelain shards. The spectator is faced with an unknown animal. Is it one of a kind? Are they several? Is it a threat? The impression of strength and invasion is palpable. But the delicacy and fragility of porcelain soften this tension making the animal less disturbing than intriguing. Strength and fragility are balanced to give life to a new form of harmony.
Manis Tetradactyla scrambles the tracks and plays the spectator who no longer knows if he is in front of a prehistoric animal resurfaces from the past or a metamorphic and futuristic creature announcing the birth of a new era.”
Ahhh, a new era. That sounds great.