All photos courtesy of Stephanie Kilgast
Stephanie Kilgast is a French artist who uses bright, cheerful colors to bring attention to a serious issue – humankind’s destructive qualities. She sculpts vibrant nature scenes from polymer clay and attaches these to discarded objects. In her artist statement she speaks to the effects that humans are having on the earth through trash and other polutants. She says:
Humans are a part of nature, which we often like to forget, creating an artificial barrier of tar between us and the mud. Unfortunately, by destroying our environment so radically, we are destroying ourselves.
It is up to us to find an equilibrium between our activities, and our desire to thrive intellectually and culturally, without completely eradicating our very home.
With my choice of bold and vibrant colors, I offer a cheerful post-apocalyptic world. While I talk about a heavy subject, the disastrous impact of human activities, I also wish that people leave my work with a feeling of happiness and hope, and keep fighting.
Kilgast’s attention to color and texture bring her concept to life. By using realistic elements in her sculptures, she is able to create a futuristic scene that is almost believable. Children are well aware of the realities of pollution and the threats to other life forms, so Kilgast’s themes will not be new. However, her work conveys the idea that nature will persevere despite the odds.
Discussion for Kids
What is one thing you could do today to create less trash?
Try to repurpose something that would otherwise be discarded – make your own recycled artwork!
For fun, come up with a new title for each artwork.
Older children might enjoy writing a story or comic featuring the animal in the artwork as the “hero” of the story.