Artist Focus: Charlotte Champion
To enter Charlotte Champion's studio is to enter an offbeat universe where all kinds of bronze animals, plants, tools, books and materials are found in every corner of this luminous studio on the rue de Crimée. Although she has been an artist for 30 years, she started sculpting at a very early age, and later trained at the Nicolas Poussin workshop and with the master Johnatan Hirschfeld. Charlotte has always had an unequivocal passion for the animal world. Playing with the shapes, sizes and characteristics of each species, she rewrites stories with pressed rabbits, skilful elephants and talking parakeets as her main characters. We have been working for many years with this incomparably talented artist and are always surprised by what her imagination has in store for us.
Inspiration comes to Charlotte Champion unconsciously. She feeds off her environment. This is why she reads a lot, goes to the cinema, to the Natural History Museum and tries to travel as much as possible. "A conversation and even a radio programme can also inspire me; I think for example of Jean-Claude Ameisen's programmes which mix science, philosophy and poetry. But my major inspiration is of course nature and its wonders." To start a sculpture, it needs a whole day of absolute freedom, cut off from the world, in peace and silence. Then, she chooses the material that will allow her to create the sculpture. Sometimes the choice is made according to technical constraints: wax, plaster, wood, cardboard, but her favourite material remains clay. She also likes to work with metal because welding has something magical about it, especially the light and heat that it gives off. A few seconds later the metal is transformed! As all her sculptures are in bronze, she frequently works with her foundry, which plays an essential role.
"I don't really know what I want to share through my sculptures, since I've been sculpting since I was a child, it's my way of looking at life. I would like the spectator to be able to escape for a moment into a universe where everything would be possible, a universe where the laws of gravity would be different, where animals would no longer have predators and would tell us stories".