Are you one of those people that ends up collecting something in the hopes that one day soon you will turn your burgeoning pile of stuff into an artistic masterpiece? Well, South African artist Jennifer Maestre has done just that with her oceanic inspired pencil sculptures. Spines of colored lead protrude from bulbous forms, that from a distance could come to life and gobble up the next passer-by.
Based on creatures from the deep blue sea, Maestre weaves pencils together like wool to create these elaborate urchin-like sculptures. We could take these objects as a metaphor to the allure and danger of the creative process, as whilst the pencils are incredibly beautiful and brightly colored, their sharp points could pierce and hurt our bodies. This duality between desire and repulsion makes me nervous because I know I want to touch them even though they’re going to hurt me, which is what the life of an artist is like.
Maestre reminds us that it’s not always the creature lurking in the dark that could be out to get us. Perhaps I’m just being paranoid too. Should I have mentioned my fear of colored pencils earlier?
Text by Marion Piper.