French artist Mathilde Roussel has been turning heads with her strange suspended installations. (We first posted her living grass sculptures on our Facebook page here.) Roussel’s work expresses complicated feelings and life’s changes through manipulation of the material. She previously explored the human form, shown endlessly falling or embracing in mid air, sometimes leaving behind a shell of clothing or skin. Like the empty chrysalis of a butterfly, these ‘skins’ serve to represent the memory of our former selves.
Roussel’s experimentation with form continues in her latest series of leathery looking objects made of paper. It is first hand colored with graphite, then, carefully scored with a scalpel to reveal intricate displays of light and shadow. Feather light, these dark shapes appear heavy, as if hung in a meat locker rather than an art gallery. (Curiously, Roussel’s works in progress closely resemble hanging animal hides, bones, and “paper fur”.) Her artwork has become a search for the shape, color, and deep emotional layers of the physical body.