Galerie Quynh is pleased to present “Ho®s-Sol” (Soil-Less®), an exhibition of new works by Nadège David. The artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery comprises drawings and sculptures that examine and question the connection between Human and Animal.
Expressing a deep engagement with and concern for issues that explore the univocal aspect of this fragile relationship, David’s works are inspired by a fascination with anatomy, science, philosophy and human behaviour, as well as socio-political and economic realities.
“Ho®s-Sol” refers to the displacement of animals from their soil and their native state of being, transformed into mere objects, functional only in a multitude of categories made up by mankind. The ® alludes to this humanised identification and objectification of animals, and their metamorphosis into merchandised property.
David explores the specific relationships that mankind has created with animals, their diversity apparent in her artwork titles – arranged in a scientific, entomological categorization with initials and numbers like labels for scientific specimens. In Domestic Animal (DA), the animal is represented in its domesticity, with children contending a cute creature that becomes akin to a stuffed toy or a child riding a lion that has lost its fierce nature.
The imagery of Mythical Animal (MA) – in the form of a dead festering pachyderm – evokes the killing of animals throughout human history and what French philosopher Gilles Deleuze refers to as “the Death of the Animal”, eventually leading to extinction and becoming mythology. David’s sculptures reference this notion of death, through the creation of a mortuary collection of insects and small critters on colourful deathbeds sealed in glass vases. These sculptural works, reminiscent of a cabinet of curiosity, push her practice beyond the limitations of two-dimensionality and continue her narratives on a more tangible material plane.
While David does not aim to deliver moralising teachings, her haunting works communicate relevant truths about some of the harshest realities of human history born of the connections between Man and Nature.
The artist retains a childlike stupor and curiosity, and a sense of awe for the beauty of Nature – emotions that have often been forgotten through mankind’s history of exploitation towards other living species. Her creative process mirrors this attentive sense of wonder, her works slowly developing through time: she draws, she pauses, she observes, she continues.
Inspired by the precision of scientific drawing and Asian aesthetics, her watercolour and ink drawings spontaneously take shape and evolve organically – like the unpredictable flow of China ink on paper – mimicking the growth of living beings.
Almost playful in their manifestation, David’s subjects unveil a sinister nature that appears alien and devious, whilst retaining a familiarly anthropomorphic aspect. The artist’s instinctual creative process reveals an obsessive attention to details and to the composition of organic structures that take on a life of their own.
David states, “Drawing emerges to me as an expression of exchange between images, thoughts, and the languages of real and imagined worlds.“
David’s oeuvre has the potency to transport the viewer into a parallel world of quasi-magical beings that draws upon man’s innermost nature, creating delusions and dark fantasies that touch the deepest recesses of our human subconscious.