Ghyslaine et Sylvain STAELENS

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Ghyslaine (born in Montfermeil, 1960) and Sylvain (born in Paris,1968) Staëlens are a quite unique case in the art world of fusional couple working with four hands, in a total symbiotic mood and with a perfect complicity, like jazz musicians. As they confess today: " We never sought out to be sculptors. It is rather sculpture that found us. Our dream was to become musicians." It was love at first sight when they met and now they have been living together for over 30 years. In the beginning they survived many hardships, during a periodwhere Ghyslaine had a good jop in computer science and Sylvain in television, and they soon decided to move to from Paris beacause the lifestyle was not for them. With all the temptation of drugs being too readily available, they decided to go on a lond journey. Only after diverses trips to Mexico, followed by roaming around in the south of France for a time, did they find their second life-line in the creation of art.
Frantically, they both began to collect all sorts of natural objects - lichen, stones, wood- on the texture of which the saw forms and figures that they brought to life by assemblage. Their first sculptures were created in 1995. Soon after they moved to the countryside, in an isolated hamlet at the foot of the volcanoes in Cantal. A crude region, which had a deep influence on their art, with Christianity and primitive magic being a stronghold.It was there, in such an environment, that they created everything from best-like creatures to warriors, druids, huntsmen, and barbaric horsemen. And also a series of big bas-reliefs, sand blasted with red pigments, and expressing the "magma of emotions" which is driving all of us and by which they had almost been swepts away in the former period oh their existence.

Laurent Danchin, June 2014