039: Cardboard Sculpture, With Laurence Vallières
Weekly Inspiration: Re-Use
Michelle is inspired by the concept of reuse and the second life this concept brings to forgotten entities. Older cities often employ redevelopment in order to give new life and vision to abandoned structures. Atlanta is experiencing an era of redevelopment, which is coloring the city with a new sense of purpose while holding onto its history. Michelle also finds inspiration in artists that reuse resources to create their work. From William Massey in Atlanta, Georgia, to Alex Lockwood in Nashville, Tennessee, to this episode’s Cultured guest Laurence Vallières, artists around the world are seizing the opportunity to apply fresh meaning to neglected materials.
Creating oversized animals out of recycled cardboard with Laurence Vallières
Montréal-based artist Laurence Vallières is right at home in the three-dimensional world. Armed with cardboard, wood, hot glue and a little varnish, Laurence reanimates discarded materials into whimsical yet realistic gorillas, elephants, geckos, and other creatures.
In art school, Laurence was molding small ceramic figures when inspiration hit her: she wanted to do something BIG. While her original idea involved purchasing a broken-down boat as a studio, a friend’s suggestion to work with cardboard shifted her story as a sculpture artist. Now, Laurence is responsible for cardboard animal sculptures that are so epic and lifelike, they warrant a few skipped heartbeats.
Laurence and Michelle discuss her transition from waitress to full-time artist, and the leap of faith it required. Laurence walks us through her technique and the key role mathematics plays, while Michelle explores her talent for creating movement in her work. They chat about the way Laurence studies animals and how this research is applied to her process.
Laurence explains how she values the act of creating above the finished creation itself. She explains her choice to remain emotionally detached from her sculptures, even going so far as to burn one of her most impressive works: the gecko. They discuss the future of her art and what she sees on the horizon.