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Peter Briggs
  • Artist (1950)

Born in Gillingham (Great Britain) in 1950,and trained at the Hornsey College of Art, Peter Briggs settled in France in 1973. He taught first at the Dijon School of Fine Arts, than at the Rennes School; since 1983 he has been teaching at the Tours School of Fine Arts. In 1976, with Jean-Marc Poinsot, he organized a sculpture symposium in which Jean Clareboudt and Barry Flanagan took part. Two years later, Peter Briggs embarked on a long series of works in which there were increasing numbers of manipulations of materials, which intersected through systems which lent a dialectic quality to these different uses. In 2002 he set up a studio in Delhi to experiment with new techniques; today, he divides his life between Delhi and Tours, where has been teaching sculpture at the School of Fine Arts since 1983. Several catalogues of his work have been published, including Taxidermies (2007). With the Flaming Hearts, the artist questions the classic procedure of lost wax casting—which makes it possible to make a bronze from a sculpture or casting--, and through it, the process of creating a sculpture.  This procedure requires creating “piping”, with an inlet for the melting matter, and an exit for the air, which is removed once the bronze has cooled.  In trying to re-incorporate these elements in the actual sculpture, Peter Briggs ends us with a form with a core, a node where the different passages intercept.  Incidentally, he does not sculpt in advance, he directly shapes the wax, as a “solid”; so the proof cast in bronze is unique.  Peter Briggs thus questions the “disappearance of the materials which form the lost models”, and reintroduces the fire, and the flames, present in the kiln at the moment of combustion, in the actual conception of the work.  The core is red hot at the moment of its making but it is presented cold, frozen in the crystallization of an ideal form, covered with a yellow-green patina which calls to mind its primary nature.

Nadine Labedade