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Pascale Girardin's eloquent and transcendental ceramics collection ‘Figura II’
Pascale Girardin with her ‘Figura II’ collection
Image: Stephany Hildebrand

Pascale Girardin's eloquent and transcendental ceramics collection ‘Figura II’

The collection weaves a symphony of tradition and modernity, offering a captivating exploration of human belonging and impermanence.

by Pooja Suresh Hollannavar
Published on : Aug 14, 2023

Renowned ceramicist Pascale Girardin captivates art enthusiasts and design aficionados alike with her latest collection the ‘Figura II’. Girardin's works reflect a seamless fusion of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design sensibilities, creating a mesmerising blend of artistry that resonates on a profound level.

Girardin's artistic prowess is perhaps most prominently showcased in her awe-inspiring architectural installations, where meticulously handcrafted ceramic design converge to form larger-than-life compositions. These captivating installations have graced luxury spaces around the globe, adorning renowned establishments like Nobu, the Four Seasons, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the Peninsula. Her creations are more than just decor; they embody the essence of each space, creating an immersive experience that seamlessly blends art and environment.

At the heart of this year's showcase is the Figura II collection, an evolution of Girardin's series of totemic figures. These monumental ceramic sculptures, with their imposing size and intricate contours, serve as a visual metaphor for the shared human experience and the universal concept of belonging. In a world marked by constant shifts in populations and exchanges, the idea of belonging becomes fluid, influenced by the myriad social ecosystems in which we navigate our lives. Drawing from her own experiences of multiple relocations during her childhood, Girardin infuses this series with deep conceptual and personal significance. The sculptures not only reflect her journey of adaptation but also provide a lens through which she contemplates the very essence of humanity.

Complementing the ‘Figura II’ collection is the limited-edition lighting ensemble, ‘Dunes,’ a collaborative creation between Girardin and Montreal-based artist and designer Maud Beauchamp. The name ‘Dunes’ evokes the ever-changing contours of the Earth's surface, shaped by the capricious dance of wind patterns. This collection serves as a poignant reminder of the impermanence that underscores our existence, capturing the essence of time's ceaseless flow and the ephemeral nature of our surroundings.

Girardin's artistic process is rooted in traditional coiling and slab-building techniques, where the very imprint of her hands is left upon the ceramic canvas. This tactile connection to her work harkens back to the ancient Greek term ‘hapten,’ meaning touch, infusing each piece with a palpable sensory allure. It's through her ‘Figura’ series that Girardin delves into the profound interplay between our relationship with materials and our profound connection to the shared human experience. Rather than imposing a singular narrative, her sculptures encourage a dynamic and open-ended dialogue, inviting viewers to draw upon their unique perspectives and frame of reference.

In the artist's own words, "In my practice, I often allude to a story or an emotion through a minimalist approach. The outline of a familiar form in a sparse composition appeals to the imagination." This minimalist ethos guides Girardin's artistry, allowing her creations to evoke myriad emotions and narratives in the minds of those who behold them.

Earlier this year, Girardin's works captivated visitors at booth 753 during the ICFF in New York City and at the Révélations Biennial in Paris, under the section ‘Le Québec, la Nation à l’honneur.’ These exhibitions offered a unique opportunity to engage with the artist herself, gaining insights into her creative process and delving into the intricate stories woven into each piece.

Pascale Girardin's artistic journey is proof of the power of ceramics and its ability to transcend the boundaries of tradition and contemporaneity, inviting us to explore the delicate interplay between our transient existence and the timeless narratives etched into her creations. The ‘Figura II’ collection and the luminance of the ‘Dunes’ are reminders of our shared humanity and the intricate tapestry that binds us all, despite the ever-shifting sands of time.

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