La Madonna Animale
Porcelain, gold leaf, copper, plaster
187 x 43 x 42 cm
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“One day in 2002, during my career as an actress, the need to put my hands in matter imposed itself on me; the earth became vital to me at once. I launched into sculpture with a primal, animal instinct, guided by a deep and irreproachable impulse. My exploration is underground and organic, my work is physical, sensual, enjoyable. There is no conceptual plan, I let go of what is in my head and become one with living matter. I take a leap into the void.
My work has always been nourished by the feminine figure, with obsessive themes – birth, chaos, death, rebirth, impermanence, devotion, cannibalism – subjects that I explored through porcelain sculptures in 2019 during Art Paris at the Grand Palais with Loo & Lou Gallery. Today, going through these long periods of confinement in an anxiety-provoking climate, I feel the need to connect to the luminous, the spiritual, the elevated, the transcendental… to work on repetition, the multiple, the swarming, the infinite, the infinitely monumental in the infinitely tiny, like mantras that soothe and numb cerebral agitation, like broad breaths – to build from chaos, from fragments of aborted or abandoned sculptures, and give them a new breath of life… These long months of gestation birthed immense, immaculate, porcelain Madonnas, adorned with gold, Murano glass, crowned with roses, thorns, roots.”
– Catherine Wilkening