Olivier Duhamel unveils his new “Rosie” sculpture on Waiheke Island

Press Release – Olivier Duhamel


“Rosie or the topology of the torso”

“Rosie” is both new and old. As a laminated sculpture, the piece is a departure from bronze, Olivier Duhamel’s favourite medium. On the other hand, the artist has remained loyal to his usual inspiration with the female anatomy.

From the Palaeolithic “Venuses”, the Egyptians of the Amarna period, the numerous Aphrodites of the greek Hellenistic period, the Roman goddesses by Praxiletes to the more contemporary sculptures by celebrated artists such as Aristide Maillol, Auguste Rodin, Gaston Lachaise, João Cutileiro, Judith Brown, or Anita Huffington to name but just a few, the torso has been a persistent source of inspiration for artists throughout the ages and civilizations. Executed with modern technologies, “Rosie” is a contemporary interpretation of a classical theme. Her classical and elegant curves will be gracing the street of Oneroa village during the month long Sculpt exhibition opening on Waiheke Island on January 18th.

The sculpture consists of 103 laser cut slices of 3mm manually laminated Medium Density Fibreboard. It is mounted on a resin and gypsum base. Height 45cm – 17.7 in – Weight 5kg – 11 pounds. Date of execution: November 2012 – Unlimited Edition. The sculpture is not suitable for open-air display but can be set in a covered outdoor space such as a patio or veranda. Even though the “pancake” effect resulting of the layering makes for an irregular surface texture, a surprising level of anatomical details is still suggested and wonderful highlights created.

MDF is made by recycling a natural resource. It is denser than plywood and much stronger than normal particle board. Being laminated, the structure is very rigid and acquires great strength and stability. It will not bend, expand or split as timber would. “Rosie” has been sealed with 4 layers of a marine grade varnish to protect it from water damage. A limited edition in bronze will eventually be cast.

Is nudity acceptable for public display?
“I personally find nothing offensive in the tasteful representation of the human body and believe that its beauty and sensuality should continue to be celebrated through the arts. Hiding nudity from children is perpetuating a sad culture of guilt. It is the role of the artist to challenge perceptions and change attitudes.” says Duhamel.

SCULPT Oneroa 2013 is an artist initiated event that sees sculptural works woven into the fabric of the village for a month long period, 18th January – 18th February 2013. The works range from the ephemeral and wall installations, through to larger sculptural works and the location of each work has been thoughtfully selected creating a dialogue between the work and its setting. The event is run as a non-profit event with all profits going directly to the artists involved. www.sculptoneroa.co.nz or contact Sally Smith on sallys@xtra.co.nz for more information.

A New Zealander since 1987, French born Olivier Duhamel lives and works on Waiheke Island with his wife Marie-France and their 3 children. His creations do not convey any particular message, do not attempt any conceptual or symbolist exploration, nor do they search to be innovative at all cost. They are rather trying to simply capture the beauty and sensuality of his subjects of study .In Auckland, his bronze works can be seen at the Parnell Gallery, at the Remuera Gallery and at the Monterey Gallery. They can also be viewed on his richly illustrated web site on www.bodyscape.net.nz

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