Most people do not find watching grass grow a riveting experience, but Mathilde Roussel-Giraudy has changed this by planting grass on the human form.
Roussel-Giraudy, a French artist who resides in New York and Paris, used soil, wheat seed, and recycled metal to create the series, Lifes of Grass, a collection of humanoid shapes. At the beginning of the exhibition, the figures appear as mannequins covered with soil. Their poses hint at life’s beginnings. As the show continues, the drama unfolds – the grass begins to sprout until the figures become fully covered.
Through watching these figures sprout into grass, Roussel-Giraudy intends to show us that the food we eat, including their origin and transport, impact us all. Roussel-Giraudy believes that “Observing nature and being aware of what and how we eat makes us more sensitive to food cycles in the world – of abundance, of famine – and allows us to be physically, intellectually and spiritually connected to a global reality.”
Having grown up in an old farmhouse in the French countryside, Roussel-Giraudy sees nature playing an unavoidable role in our lives. She says, “The values of preservation, attachment to roots and relationship with land and time, emphasized in my childhood, continue to inspire my work. By exploring and juxtaposing subtle links between anatomy, psychology, ecology and cosmology, I try to understand the mysteries of our inner and outer selves.”
In Lifes of Grass, Roussel-Giraudy has accomplished more than just the creation of three elegant organic figures. She has also made a powerful statement about the indivisibility of our existence with nature. Lifes of Grass is a provocative piece of environmental art.
Lifes of Grass was exhibited at the 2010 Crossing the Line FIAF Festival in the Invisible Dog Gallery, Brooklyn, NY and in the French Institute Alliance Française, FGH Theater Hall, NY, as well as at the Brooklyn Utopias: Farm City in the Old Stone House Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.