SUNDAY TIMES - Philippe Bousquet's macabre art will mesmerise you
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Sunday Times Lifestyle By Emma Jordan, 2017-04-18 12:32:20.0

Philippe Bousquet's macabre art will mesmerise you

Philippe Bousquet's themes are both macabre and familiar.
Image: Supplied

Eight years ago, upstairs at Melville's Bamboo Centre in Johannesburg there stood assembled a collection of charming animal sculptures made from recycled and reassembled wood and iron pieces.

Philippe Bousquet's animated and unusual contributions to that group show had a luminosity that stuck in the viewer's mind.

Now Between Dusk and Dawn, Bousquet's first solo show, displays a macabre and abstract selection of both sculptures and paintings.

"I have created more human-like figures, and in some instances they're over 2m high," says Bousquet. "This exhibition speaks about the grey areas, about the harmony and balance of human nature, plus the other side of that."

"Philippe creates characters and narratives that are utterly strange and yet somehow recognisable," says Trevyn McGowan, curator of the show. "We lose ourselves in a landscape that feels like a distant memory."

In a first for Bousquet, there's also a selection of paintings - a process, he says, which is more instinctual than his sculptures which are imbued with messages and meanings.

"His paintings are seemingly the opposite of his sculptural works," says McGowan. "His assemblage pieces draw you in to examine the detail, while his abstract paintings encourage you to step back and view the work as a whole."

Bousquet, originally from Marseille in France, studied architecture before turning his hand to silversmithing and jewellery. Eventually his trajectory ended at objects, small pieces he created using precious metals and by-products from the mining industry. Now 95% of his materials are found or recyclable.

"Each story has more than one side to it," he says. ''And although each piece will be received differently by each person, I hope that for those that engage with them a lasting connection is formed."


One of Philippe Bousquet's paintings. Image: Supplied

'Between Dusk and Dawn' is on until Friday, May 26 at Southern Guild Gallery, Unit 1, 10 Lewin Street, Woodstock, Cape Town

This article was originally published in The Times.