Saturday 5 April 2014

Work by Others - Anne-Lise Koehler

An on-going series of posts that profile papier-mâché work others. Here is sculptress Anne-Lise Koehler
I have translated from her own blog - 
'Manufacturing typically takes several weeks, but sometimes months and even years because each sculpture is an adventure, which has its own ripening time and reflection.'

'Fascinated by the wild fauna and flora, I have made naturalistic sculptures from papier-mâché.  From the smallest field flower to large mammals - to fungi, insects, fish, birds, amphibians and reptiles, I enjoy sculpting all that I observe and try to understand the beauty of the mystery of the presence of living beings around us. 
These beings, we often come across too quickly but hurry not - instead ask - how are they alive,  present in the world and in the light? How do they live their lives? What are their desires? What is our common destiny?  These questions arise in my daily work as a  sculptor and through scenarios that I write for my animation. This fascination for wildlife, and the pleasure I have to represent dates back to my childhood, and I do not know how to explain it. Papier-mâché is the ideal material for my sculptures. It allows me to start work at the heart of the form and shape gradually, as skeleton and muscles back up to the surface of the body. I also love finding printed paper books, that convey thoughts, human emotions, evidence of the relentlessness of our species to want to understand the world around us.  To appoint a single thing, with plant and animal forms, these strange aliens who are our neighbours and where the truth is inaccessible to us.
I always carefully selected the papers for my work, the quality of the material itself  and also as to the content of texts displayed on the sculptures.
The printed paper that I use, is almost exclusively from the works of the collection: "The Pleiade" Gallimard.
Each sculpture is the culmination of a slow development in successive layers, that takes into account the constraints of many drying times. 

My sculptures are made of patterned paper on a stainless steel frame, the lightest possible.
This process allows me to start the sculpture in the heart of the form and shape gradually skeleton and muscles back to the surface shapes. The sculpture must dry between each step of work.  Each project is an adventure-going and original art in itself. The paper sculpture also allows me to keep a large part to the colour. 

I use for my sculptures of many types of paper, according to their texture, their weight, their appearance.  Leaves of books, paper drawings, handmade papers.  I am very attentive to the quality of the paper and all the materials I use for a good conservation of sculptures in time.  

To stick my sculptures, I use a mixture with varying proportions of glue and Caparol Methyl cellulose.

To colour the sculptures, I use white and black acrylic - brand - Lascaux.  I complete my range preparing myself the rest of the colours from Lascaux Acrylic Emulsion LINK

and pigments I select for their brilliance and stability.

All sculptures are painted with a matt varnish of the same brand, to preserve their conservation.
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