PAutres

Météores - The Meteors

Terre cuite peinte, pièce unique - Painted terracotta, unique piece.

38 x 28 x 38 cm.

Meteors is one of my first painted ceramics, giving it a very soft colours finish and an impressionist effect.
The subject if of course the world famous monasteries on top of rocks in the Meteora region of Greece. Here is only a personal glimpse of it. It has a scent of paradise to me, even if I would be probably very frightened by living so high up on the edge of a precipice! But I am truly impressed by the life of those monks, and by the builders of such architectural marvels... It has an effect of houses in the clouds, at the gates of the paradise.
The world would be quite different if all humans were more preoccupied by the salvation of their souls rather than the satisfaction of their earthly whims and cravings...

 

 

Le paysage, tant dans sa beauté sauvage que dans son aspect domestiqué par l'Homme, constitue une source inépuisable de mon inspiration. Je peux parfois montrer des paysages détruits par la voracité humaine, mais j'aime bien plus les visions bucoliques d'une vie humaine respectueuse de la nature et les impressionnants reliefs ou les splendides attributs du monde vierge.



Landscape, as much in its aspect of domestication by Man as in its wild beauty, constitutes an endless source of inspiration. I may sometimes show territories destroyed by human voracity, but I prefer much better the pastoral visions of a human society respectful of nature or the impressive shapes and splendid attributes of the wild world.

Paysages



Landscapes

Yemen
Terre cuite peinte, pièce unique - Painted terracotta, unique piece.
55 x 40 x 40 cm.
Yemen is one of my first painted landscape sculptures of bigger size. It represents an imaginary piece of mountainous northern yemeni landscape. It looks a bit as if God had taken a huge shovel and dug out a big cubical square of land. It gives a natural pedestal base to the sculptured landscape beginning at mid-level, creating balance.
The landscape shows quite steep and shrugged surfaces. Nevertheless, nearly every piece of land has been occupied and used by its inhabitants in an impressive way. Humans are an industrious species, managing to live in difficult environments. Here, they created what appears to be a small paradise of oasis, extensive terraced fields and nice picturesque villages. Everyday life might not be easy there, for example to get water in high points, but at least the views displayed to all are stunningly beautiful, in a perfect natural setting.
Traditional cultures usually maintain a balanced life, knowing their survival is very precarious. Today, the modern man, infatuated of its own power, should probably rediscover this precious knowledge of the Ancients...
Montagne - Mountain
Terre cuite émaillée, pièce unique - Glazed terracotta, unique piece.
19 x 16,5 x 8 cm.
This art piece is enameled with colour. It represents a piece of mountainous territory, with a lake and a higher mountain peak. Those mountains are rather middle range, as there is no everlasting snow.
Mountain is my very first ceramic piece, even before I knew I was to become an artist. I had just come back from a blissful and at the same time traumatic experience of work for an NGO in Bangladeshi urban slums.
Mountain displays the exact opposite landscape of what I experienced there, as Bangladesh is flat, and heavily populated. Here my mountain is... mountainous!, and there is no living soul, which was surely a relief for me to project myself inside as I sculpted it...
For me, this piece is the founding piece of my beginnings. It bears many things I will search in art: relief (here in all the senses of the word!), inner (but not only!) peace, freedom of soul...
Falaises - Cliffs (Blanc Nez)
Terre cuite émaillée, pièce unique - Glazed terracotta, unique piece. 
32 x 25 x 14 cm.
Cliffs are probably a childhood rememberance. I spent many holidays by the Côte d'Opale in France, and I remember well the baths and strolls by the Blanc-Nez cliffs, near Wissant.
I've realised only lately those cliffs are a personal vision of the ones of my childhood holidays by the North Sea! They have something of Etretat also, with the legs which interior parts disappeared once with water erosion.
Creation is such an urge you don't realise at once what you're doing exactly. It comes under your hands a bit without you knowing it...
I like the waves coming gently to the shore with their deep blue tint, contrasting nicely with the sandy shore (un-enameled clay), in front of the whitish cliffs.
This piece has a peaceful effect on me, and carries many souvenirs of great escapes along the seaside long ago, hence it is associated with holidays, freedom, time, wind, sea shells gathering, crab hunting and many other joys.

Delta

Terre cuite émaillée, pièce unique - Glazed terracotta, unique piece

33 x 20 x 2 cm.

 

Bangladesh
Terre cuite peinte, pièce originale - Painted terracotta, original piece. 
47 x 37,5 x 2 cm. Disponible en résine - Available in resin.
This Bangladeshi landscape is the first full resin artpiece I've done, after a mould of the original Bangladesh. Resin was then painted with as much realism as I could. Because the landscape is that of a quiet territory with scarcely populated areas, mostly hamlets and small villages, with rice fields and woods, it is a very peaceful subject. To me this represents the true soul of this beautiful country. 
Nevertheless, this paradisiac vision hides all the problems connected with this territory in real life. In effect, Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries on earth, also one of the most polluted, with one of the fastest growing populations and the highest densities, and endless governance and other problems.
When observing the rivers which ennerve the country, one can not suspect for example arsenic pollution, which has a natural cause: it stays in the sediments of the rivers, and a Bangladesh is roughly the big alluvial plain of Ganga and Brahmaputra, arsenic is nearly everywhere, with concentrations in water a few times higher than the maximum allowed dose injestable by humans, according to the WHO. The same rivers carry many discharges dumped by any industry working near the rivers... And the beautiful rice fields are scattered with rubbish.
Though very resilient, calm and high spirited, Bangladeshis are on the verge of a truly catastrophic situation, that might endanger the country and its population even sooner than expected, meaning perhaps even before the lethal effects of big permanent floods provoked by Climate Change.
This Bangladeshi Landscape is part of a dyptic, being the chronological first part of it. The second part of the dyptic is the art piece Bangladesh in Climate Change.
Premiers essais de sculpture paysagère  - First landscape sculptures
(New York - 2003)

Ma création ne s'est pas toujours faite en terre cuite. Ci-dessous, mes premières sculptures de paysages en matériaux mixtes



My creation hasn't always been in terracotta. Below you can find my first landscape sculptures in mixed media.

Banquise: matériaux mixtes, pièce unique.
Ice Floe: mixed media, unique piece. 30 x 23 x 7,5 cm.

Vague sur côte: matériaux mixtes, pièce unique.
Wave on the coast: mixed media, unique piece. 27,5 x 18 x 5 cm.

​Rockies: matériaux mixtes, pièce unique.​
Rockies: Mixed media, unique piece. 35,5 x 26 x 10 cm.
Ces Rockies, ou Rocky Mountains, sont une évocation de ces fameuses montagnes nord américaines, que je ne connais que de réputation. C'est une vision doublement tronquée, qu'il faut voir d'un côté unique, avec un jeu de perspective.

Il s'agit d'une de mes toutes premières pièces d'art, exécutée lors de ma période New-Yorkaise, en 2008. La pièce est en carton collé et peint, selon une technique expérimentée sur place et qui m'a beaucoup amusé. J'aime les contrastes de couleurs fortes et l'effet de perspective et d'espace.

On imagine très facilement ces montagnes baignées d'un soleil ardent qui accompagne cette route d'asphalte courant les reliefs arides de terre rouge vif. Un univers minéral où la vie se cache, si vie il y a...

Tours du Magne - Mani Towers
Terre cuite patinée, pièce originale - Terracotta with patina. 
43 x 30 x 25 cm.
 
It is not even a place I've been myself personally. I've just seen photos of those stunning towers of the Mani peninsula in Greece and it inspired me tremendously.
Normally the architecture itself was meant quite sufficient to deter any invasion of the house by ennemies. Still I voluntarily exaggerated the landscape around, to create the inpregnable strongholds the Mani people dreamt of for their homes...

Complete protection is what they sought for. Seeing the landscape, you can tell it is very detrimental to life, as there's only rocks around. The need for protection is necessary, but it might also create a real struggle for everyday life... The final question is: to what extent should we protect ourselves from others in order to save our culture? Should'nt we just let go and welcome the invaders sometimes? History shows it was not always a bad idea! In fact the most brilliant civilizations where generally more open to diversity and foreign ideas, and invasions did not always bear bad results...

 

© 2017 Nicolas Moussette

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Magne detail 2 tours