Beautiful Human Sculptures Float and Sprout With Grass

© Matthieu Raffard

French artist Mathilde Roussel doesn’t always work with the most predictable of media. She uses paper, fabric, rubber, and graphite … as well as pollen, sap, milk, dew, and wheat grass. When exploring the cycles that transform organic matter, the Paris-based artist creates ephemeral works of art that also employ time as a medium - decay is as important to the work as it is inherent.

While many of us are struggling with where lawns should fit into the big picture (as in, maybe they shouldn't), in Lives of Grass, Roussel uses grass to make a statement about food.

In the installations, human form armatures are seeded with wheat grass in a nod to Egyptian Mythology and Osiris, the God of renewal, says the artist. Osiris is also the personification of the fertile land and the natural cycles: death and rebirth, dryness and fertility. Roussel talks about the natural world and how it becomes part of us when it's ingested as food; the wheat-grass covered forms strive to show the profound connection between nature, food cycles, and the human body's place in that relationship. "Observing nature and being aware of what and how we eat might make us more sensitive to food cycles in the world - of abundance, of famine - and allows us to be physically, intellectually and spiritually connected to a global reality," she notes.

Roussel's recent show in Spring 2012 at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art was an installation of sculptures and drawings that expanded on these themes by delineating the biological and anatomical relationship between plant life and the human body. Along with the Lives of Grass figures, she displayed a series of large glass jars on pedestals etched with text. Within the jars were nature's equivalents of human components: Bark was displayed as "Skin"; pollen was labeled "Sperm"; sap was labeled as "Blood"; sticks were "Bones." The floating grass figures played against this nature-body deconstruction, as shown in these images.

© Matthieu Raffard

© Matthieu Raffard

© Matthieu Raffard

© Matthieu Raffard

Lives of Grass has been exhibited at: Invisible Dog Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; the French Institute Alliance Française FGH Theater Hall, NY; Brooklyn Utopias: Farm City at The Old Stone House Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; and Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Nashville, TN.

Via Laughing Squid

Tags: Artists | Arts | Grass

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