A sculpture made from assembled pieces of driftwood that have been loosely carved into abstract figures.

“Écran plat” (1999), driftwood and linen twine, 60 x 50 x 7 centimeters. All images © Marc Bourlier, shared with permission

Characterized by elongated noses and tiny, punched eyes and mouths, Marc Bourlier’s expressive figures gather in a perpetual state of curiosity and surprise. The artist scours the beaches near his home in Normandy for driftwood, gathering an incredible variety of sizes and shapes to take back to the studio. He complements the weathered grain with carefully whittled heads and long, limbless bodies, packing the individuals tightly together on platforms or organizing them into compartments.

The nuances of color play a role in Bourlier’s work, as he explores the relationship between naturally occurring tones and subtle background hues. Recently, the artist has composed tree motifs grounded by warm, brown surfaces filled edge-to-edge with drawn linear patterns and hundreds of faces. Figures stand around the trunks and balance in the boughs, captured in an enigmatic narrative.

See more of Bourlier’s work on his website and Instagram.

 

A sculpture made from assembled pieces of driftwood that have been loosely carved into abstract figures and placed into dozens of compartments.

“Le Grand Cloisonné” (2017), driftwood, linen twine, and wallpaper, 120 x 90 x 5 centimeters

A sculpture made from assembled pieces of driftwood that have been loosely carved into abstract figures and a tree.

“L’arbre Voyageur” (2023), driftwood, wallpaper, and drawing, 50 x 40 x 6 centimeters

A sculpture made from assembled pieces of driftwood that have been loosely carved into abstract figures and placed into compartments.

“Fétiches Arumbaya” (2020), driftwood, wallpaper, and drawing, 80 x 60 x 5 centimeters

A sculpture made from assembled pieces of driftwood that have been loosely carved into abstract figures and placed into compartments.

“Cloisonné” (2017), driftwood, linen twine, and wallpaper, 40 x 40 x 5 centimeters

A sculpture made from assembled pieces of driftwood that have been loosely carved into abstract figures, a tree, and a moon.

“L’arbre Sous le Lune” (2023), driftwood, linen twine, wallpaper, and drawing, 40 x 30 x 5 centimeters

A sculpture made from assembled pieces of driftwood that have been loosely carved into faces.

“Portraits de Fétiches” (2019), driftwood, wallpaper, and drawing, 50 x 40 x 6 centimeters

A sculpture made from assembled pieces of driftwood that have been loosely carved into abstract figures.

“Nuages” (2017), driftwood, 80 x 70 x 7 centimeters

A sculpture made from assembled pieces of driftwood that have been loosely carved into abstract figures.

“Tous Dehors” (2015), driftwood, linen twine, and wooden box, 35 x 15 x 12 centimeters

A sculpture made from assembled pieces of driftwood that have been loosely carved into abstract figures.

“L’étrange véhicule” (2023), driftwood, wallpaper, and drawing, 40 x 40 x 5 centimeters

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Countless Astonished Faces Emerge from Driftwood in Expressive Sculptures by Marc Bourlier appeared first on Colossal.

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