BORDEAUX, France — French contemporary artist Juliette Clovis makes contemporary ceramic art focused on three main topics: links between human beings and nature, the conflict between life and death and the dialogue (though maybe conflict could fit here, too) between tradition and modernity. The artist, in her biography, states:
Above image: Juliette Clovis, Dahlia Akita, 2016, limoges porcelain with white glaze and blue cobalt paint, 35 x 33 x 22 cm
For years, Juliette Clovis worked on female identity and the representation of women in contemporary society and its history. In her most recent works, her women are completely transformed into hybrid beings, mixes of history, myths and chimerical dreams. The female bodies are invaded by a profusion of wildlife and flora elements, evoking a nature that is both soft and worrying. Like a Hitchcock-inspired scene, we can almost hear the noise of the jungle: the flapping of a bird’s wings, the slither of a creeping snake or the croak of a frog. Fascinated by the wild beauty of Nature discovered during her different trips, the artist draws inspiration from it to create her human jungles and to explore the wild aspect of the human body. She questions the balance of power between Humanity and Nature. Conjugating ambiguity and employing metaphors, Juliette’s work wobbles between a prophetic picture announcing the birth of a new living being, a human body with a half- animal half-vegetable face; and the onset of death caused by a hungry nature wanting to take back its rights.
Art is matter and matter makes Art in Juliette Clovis’ work.
For more than 10 years, Juliette explored her subjects across a very specific technique: armed with cutters, she cuts up butterflies, birds and other vegetables in vinyl leaves glued together on black Plexiglass. Despite abundant references to Art History, the choice of these materials and techniques avoid habitual codes. Since 2015, the nature theme has withdrawn from Juliette’s two dimensional artworks to invade her new sculpture creations made in Limoges porcelain. As a logical continuation in the creation of the artist, her subjects now take form under her fingers and fill with material for a new 3D reality. The artist plunged with passion into this very difficult technique of hard porcelain, which she works in collaboration with the bone china factory of Limoges of La Seynie. The choice of this noble and classical material, to the antipodes of those used in its 2D artworks allows her to confront her deeply contemporary vision of art across a traditional and ancestral technology.
Juliette Clovis’ artworks are now represented by several galleries and have appeared in France, the UK, the United States and Hong Kong.
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