stephanie kilgast

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Art

Ecosystems of Fungi and Coral Inhabit Vintage Books in Stéphanie Kilgast’s Intricate Sculptures

August 22, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Old and New” (2022). All images © Stéphanie Kilgast, shared with permission

Fungi sprout from between pages, ivy creeps across a text, and the life cycle of a butterfly unfolds on the cover of a volume in Stéphanie Kilgast’s vibrant sculptures. Known for her intricately detailed works using discarded materials and trash like crushed cans or plastic bottles (previously), her recent pieces explore incredible biodiversity utilizing books as her canvas.

Millions of titles are published each year in the U.S. alone, meaning billions of individual copies—a vast number of which eventually end up in landfills. Kilgast draws attention to these discarded objects by giving vintage editions new life. She constructs delicate mushrooms, blooming flowers, and colorful coral in painstakingly detailed miniature environments as a vivid reminder of the impact humans have on the environment and the tenacity of nature.

The artist has an exhibition opening on November 5 at Beinart Gallery in Melbourne, and you can find more of her work on her website and Instagram.

 

“Ancestral History” (2021)

Left: “Contre Vents et Marees” (2021). Right: Work in progress

“Half Full, Half Empty” (2022)

“Happy or Doomsday Colors” (2022)

Left: “Hungry” (2022). Right: “Beginnings” (2022).

“I Lichen You A Lot” (2022)

Detail of “Contre Vents et Marees” (2021)

 

 



Art

Coral and Plant Life Consume Discarded Objects in Post-Apocalyptic Sculptures by Stéphanie Kilgast

September 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Coral Royal” (2019), epoxy clay, acrylics on tin can, 14 x 15 x 11 centimeters. All images © Stéphanie Kilgast, shared with permission

Artist Stéphanie Kilgast (previously) envisions a vibrant, post-apocalyptic world overgrown with coral, fungi, and lush moss. Using cheap devices and disposable containers that tend to outlast their original function as her base, Kilgast creates painted-clay assemblages that are teeming with fantastical colors and texture: mushrooms sprout from an empty paint tube, sea creatures envelop a crushed can, and plant life cloaks a pair of headphones with whimsical botanicals.

Each of the works contrasts the enduring manufactured object with natural growth, imagining a universe that’s simultaneously devoid of humanity and still marred by its rampant consumption habits. “In that sense my work is joyous. I remove the root of the problem, us, and let all the other species just grow over our mistakes,” she shares. “Nature itself is full of bright colors. It’s inherently beautiful, and my work is an ode to all the living and existing species, (except) for us. Hope dies last, so I still hope my work opens up discussion, thinking, and eventually change.”

Currently based in Vannes, France, Kilgast has exhibitions at Comoedia in Brest, France, Modern Eden in San Francisco, and three at Melbourne’s Beinart Gallery slated for 2022. She also shares much of her process on YouTube and Instagram.

 

“Quinacridone Magenta” (2021), cold porcelain, epoxy clay, acrylics, wire on empty paint tube, 10 x 7 x 13 centimeters

“Cyltonic” (2018), polymer clay, acrylics, wire, thrifted can of cleaning agent, 17 x 9 x 19 centimeters

Top left: “Blue Boletus” (2020), polymer clay, acrylics, wire on tin can, 25 x 14 x 10 centimeters. Top right: “Serene” (2020), epoxy clay, polymer clay, acrylics, wire on empty acrylic plastic bottle, 25 x 12 x 17 centimeters. Bottom left: “Yellow Exploration (Octopus)” (2020), epoxy clay, polymer clay, acrylics on empty acrylic plastic bottle, 32 x 16 x 15 centimeters and “Blue Bottle (Coral Reef)” (2020), epoxy clay, polymer clay, acrylics on empty acrylic plastic bottle, 35 x 15 x 11 centimeters. Bottom right: “Mojito” (2019), poxy clay, polymer clay, acrylics on tin can, 17 x 17 x 7 centimeters

“Losing My Song Culture” (2021), epoxy clay, air-dry clay, cold porcelain, paper, watercolor, acrylics, on broken headphones, 28 x 18 x 17 centimeters

Detail of “Blue Bottle (Coral Reef)” (2020), epoxy clay, polymer clay, acrylics on empty acrylic plastic bottle, 35 x 15 x 11 centimeters

“Mother (Elephants)” (2019), epoxy clay, polymer clay, acrylics, wire, thrifted plastic canteen, 17 x 14 x 26 centimeters

 

 



Art

Sorrowful Sculptures Designed in a Three-Part Collaboration Meditate on Life, Loss, and Regeneration

September 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In a limited edition of 12 new sculptures created in a unique three part collaboration, weeping women mourn a decomposing figure. The cast white figures, partially collapsed in a kneeling pose, embrace amorphous forms that ooze and drip. Countering the somber tone of each sculpture, colorful coral and mushroom-like shapes grow from the decomposition, uniting life and death and forging new growth from the loss.

To create this body of work, sculptor Stéphanie Kilgast (previously) partnered with illustrator Miles Johnston (previously) who conceptualized the base sculpture, and multi-disciplinary production facilitator MoonCrane Press who created the cast.

In a statement on the collaborative project, Kilgast explained that “I added life with my mushrooms, because, whatever happens, life always keeps going. Even if it’s just on a bacterial level. Another way of seeing this sculpture is to see the woman crying not over a human being but over the 6th mass extinction of nature that is currently happening.”

The series is sold out, but you can explore more of Kilgast, Johnston, and MoonCrane on their Instagram profiles.

 

 



Art Craft

Discarded Objects are Beautified with Colorful Coral-Like Growths by Stephanie Kilgast

April 11, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Stephanie Kilgast takes discarded objects like tin cans, jam jars, and old cameras and embellishes them with vibrant amalgamations of coral-like growths. The artist honed her detail-oriented skills by making hyperrealistic miniature food, and she continues to use polymer clay and hand tools to craft her artworks. Mushrooms, crystals, beetles, and abstract forms sprout from the everyday objects that Kilgast sources from thrift stores and trash cans.

In an artist statement on her website, she describes her work as “an ode to life, where plants and fungi meet insects, animals and minerals. These encounters are growing in a colorful swirl of diversity, and the erratic growth develops on found objects, in a dialogue between humanity and nature.”

Kilgast, who is based in France, often documents her creative process in videos on InstagramYouTube, and Facebook. In addition to sharing her work with her large online audience, the artist exhibits widely, and was most recently a part of the themed group show “Monochrome” at Art Number 23 in London.