Saturday, August 14, 2021


SUE'S SPOT . . . 

I received an email from constant reader and regular contributor, Sue P, as follows. . .
Swamp Creatures

Hi Otto

I saw one of these photos and looked up the artist - fascinating!

Hope you remain well

Regards, Sue
Thank you, Sue.


Sophie Prestigiacomo is a French artist and sculptor whose fascinating swamp creatures, both creepy and beautiful at the same time, are truly fascinating, as Sue said.

Some pics of the artist at work:

One of the links provided by Sue is to a site Bizarro Bazar, which states that it is a blog by one Ivan Cenzi, who describes himself as “Explorer of the uncanny, the macabre, the strange and the wonderful.” He exhorts “Keep the world weird!”

The following text and photographs describe the art perfectly, so I reprint those . . .


Homo Algus

Strange primordial figures, half human and half vegetal, emerge from the mud of the swamp… They may appear disturbing at first, but in truth they do nothing but observe us, half hidden among the vegetation. Their motionless faces, tinged with sadness, seem to spy on our movements: we are the intruders, the real danger, the offspring who have disowned their origins, we are those who have violated, spoiled and worn out nature.

These hieratic creatures, on the other hand, live with the rhythm of the tides; the wind dries and cracks their muddy skin, but does not affect their calm balance — that serenity which only belongs to those who have accepted the fluid pulsations of time.

They are the work of the French sculptor and artist Sophie Prestigiacomo.

Living near the brackish marshes that make up the Réserve Naturelle des Marais de Séné, in Brittany, one of her passions has always been to go into the swamp, walking along creaking wooden bridges, watching the landscape change with the ebb and flow of the tides that cyclically submerge part of the land.

During one of these excursions, as Sophie recounts, a fateful encounter took place: her encounter with an alga.

Having noticed that the texture of this seaweed resembled that of human skin, and that if left to dry it assumed the consistency of fabric, Sophie realized the ductility that this material could have in the artistic field.

Apart from the metal armor that keeps the desired position, Sophie Prestigiacomo’s Homo algus are sculpted solely with mud and algae. A type of ephemeral art, which natural elements continuously affect and modify. The artist occasionally does some restoration work, when the sculptures are falling apart; but their ultimate fate is to wear out completely, sooner or later.

Initially there were only two Homo algus. Intrigued and reassured by the welcome given to these first two ambassadors, other beings of algae and mud have begun to emerge from the stagnant waters, perhaps convinced that there may still be a relationship tie with this awkward primate called Man.

Thanks to the interest of the curator of the Nature Reserve, and to a crowdfunding campaign, today the swamp feature about ten sculptures.

Sophie Prestigiacomo is still in love with the marsh, and the way it transforms. She often returns to visit her creatures, which change from morning to evening, depending on the rains, winds, humidity: as vulnerable and sensitive as the ecosystem they are part of.

They just wait for someone to walk along the path, between the tidal flats and the marshes, to whisper in tune with the breeze that comes from the immense ocean: remember, human, that this landscape is yours, as you belong to it.

(Thanks, Roger!)

Additional pics . . .

The figures are modelled with mud and seaweed, with the algae drying within the elements. The colors, textures, and “skin” of the creatures change over time, along with the organic landscape they inhabit. The sculptures offer a chance for onlookers to not only visit the site, but also engage in dialogue about biodiversity and our relationship to these lands.

Even though there’s a gothic, unsettling aspect to the design of the swamp creatures, the nature palettes and shifting nature of them offers a certain beauty. And even if we don’t understand what they are at first, viewers are drawn to make contact with them.


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