Through a desire to imitate nature in a miniature form, French artist Émeric Chantier reimagines both people and animals as surreal plant sculptures. To create them, he utilizes a combination of faux greenery and real natural elements.
Émeric’s surreal plant sculptures are grassy forms that have small twigs and trees sprouting from them. He constructs them using techniques commonly found in world-building activities, like set-building, fantasy gaming and model worlds. First, he builds a base before adding the organic and natural elements to it that differentiates his style from other contemporary figurative sculptors.
“The base of most sculptures are carved resin,” he explains. “They are then covered with synthetic elements and other nature [such as] flowers or roots that are painted and varnished.”
He pays special attention to the details of his surreal plant sculptures like muscle definition and overall proportion. The process is an involved one, and it requires Émeric to forage French hillsides for materials. Later he uses tweezers to place the finishing touches, like tiny petals on a figure’s cheek. The final result is creations that feel as though they are strange beings from another world — or ones that have been long forgotten by ours.
Émeric views his sculptures, which he calls “a fantasized nature,” as a form of 3D illustrations. The surreal plant sculptures are intended to convey feelings or encourage questions about how we relate to the Earth. For him, it’s about awareness, more than activism.
“The work is not meant to be moralistic,” he says, “but challenging, reflexive, and meditative on the intrinsic link that unites the generational history of the Human with Nature.”
Take a look at more of Émeric’s works below or on his website.