Juliette Clovis has unveiled her first art exhibition in Croydon, examining the female form through a collection of vinyl portraits and porcelain busts.
The exhibition, which opened at the Rise Gallery, portrays the transformations of women in the twenty-first century, in both portrait and sculpture form.
Clovis looks to different continents and different animals for inspiration. While animal parts subtly cover some of her portraits, other works are totally anthropomorphic, made up of insects, birds and reptiles. The resulting artwork is just as much embedded in ancient myth as the modern world.
Speaking to ELL, Clovis, from France, explained her choice for mixed ethnic features: “If you look at their faces you can’t see from which ethnicity they come from. Maybe Asiatic eyes, an African mouth and a European face: totally mixed. And the reason why is because we are totally mixed. It is how the world is now.”
Born in Paris, but currently living in Bordeaux, 38-year-old Clovis has exhibited her work in the United States, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and Malaysia.
Female bodies have been the focus of Clovis’s artwork since 2005 and she has explored various methods to display her subject: “All my two-dimensional artwork is made from cuttings. The support is plastic glass and then I start sticking the first layer of vinyl. Then I draw, cut and remove other parts that should stay in black. I do it several times in all different layers.”
Two years ago, Clovis decided to explore sculpture work. For the new enterprise, she travelled to Limoges, a city reputed in France for its traditional porcelain manufacturing.
Although there are challenges, Clovis is excited by her latest venture: “I wanted to try something else. There are lots of restrictions, but, in another ways, lots of possibilities. I hope that next year I will come with some real crazy ones.”
Juliette Clovis: Invasion and Metamorphosis is at Rise Gallery until December 23.
Follow Márcio Cruz on Twitter: @marciocruz