In Paradisum, Botanische Tuin, Leuven, 2020
Installation of 12 clay sculptures (60 cm) and plants arranged in 12 display cases (200x65x45 cm).
The twelve small sculptures of people are not sharply or finely modeled, but rather coarse and rudimentary. I wanted to give them an expressive form (exterior) and ‘content’ (interior).
They clearly have their pains, their hurts. They are disempowered, powerless, they are undergoing and seem to be but a cog in a large machine.
These little people are made of raw clay, mixed with different seeds. The figures were placed in small fields (50×40 cm) of earth, between plants and sprouting seeds. Here and there seeds have germinated on their bodies.
The sculptures were not baked and are thus destined to disappear slowly, but the seeds germinate and provide new life.
Each of them is presented in a custom-made display case. The sculptures rest in a wooden tray halfway up the 2-metre-high steel posts. Better, they stand in a small conservatory, an enclosed courtyard of sorts, a little paradise behind walls of glass.
In Paradisum is about man and his allotted time, about nature and transience.
A small homage to nature and the mortal men who are part of it.