(profielfoto: Bea Stienstra)
About my work.
Without the viewer, a sculpture is just an object. The viewer is an important part of the work. The specific placement of the work in space creates a relationship to the viewer which gives the work its meaning. A pedestal seems to be no more than its function, a column is only indicative, until the viewer activates the potential of the sculptures and the given context beyond what is merely visible.
The works consist of architectural objects and animal sculptures. The architectural elements in my work refer to pedestals, columns and architecture by using forms based on Gothic arches and architectural constructions. I use architecture as a system of representation. The sculptures are made with standard building materials and timber, the weight and aesthetics of which contrast with the minimal, architectural forms. The finished objects are what they present, both sculptures and forms for presentation; a plinth both remains a plinth and becomes a sculpture. It is sometimes a small change that makes the difference between sculpture and functional models. It is this minimal change, however, a formal abstraction, that translates the function of these pedestals, columns and other objects to sculpture.
Opposite to, but integrated in, these architectural sculptures are animal sculptures. Sometimes developed and identified as an animal at other times reduced to an abstract form, through dismantling or displaying the molds where the animal is no longer recognizable as such. I came to this abstraction because I want to show only a shadow of an animal and focus the attention on their substantive meaning.
The figurative elements I use are mostly animals that are known and presented in architecture because of their symbolic values. Think of the lions as sentinels for a building. My interest is in how the values of these symbolic figures are integrated within the architecture. Where they were first a symbol of power, they are now carriers, or rather become presenters of architecture. The animal sculptures function as intermediary between architecture and viewer. Some sculptures act as a mask, which involves the idea that the viewer could put it on.
Paulien Fӧllings. 2012