Art&Culture

Protagonists: Clare Celeste Boersch

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Art at the service of beauty, art at the service of the planet. Clare Celeste Boersch uses the art of collage and installations to raise awareness on the topics of ecology and biodiversity. The result is a “wow effect” that leaves everybody speechless. 

Clare Celeste Boersch  is an artist and an environmentalist at the same time, and she currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Known for her 3D-collage installations, Clare goes beyond assembling to create immersive sculptures and spaces. Her mission is to collaborate with those, who fight for a sustainable, CO2-neutral future and biodiversity, to create works of art targeted to people of all ages drawing their attention to biodiversity, and to use art as a form of environmental activism.

To achieve all of these goals, she works with thousand hand-cut images of flora and fauna to create immersive installations evoking threats to biodiversity in our planet.

The daughter of a US diplomat, she was born in Thailand and has grown up all over the world, having lived in Brazil, the US, Italy, Honduras, Argentina and Germany. Her works are, therefore, rich in textures and polyedric details, and each composition is a tribute paid to her ability to turn her impressions of nature into real ecosystems.

Drawing inspiration from nature, biodiversity and ecosystems.

She is a self-taught artist, who tells us that she has always the support of her family and high school art teacher, who wished that she could keep following this path and thus acknowledged her capabilities early in advance.

The daughter of a US diplomat, she has grown up all over the world:  «My life has been similar to a collage», she says. «I can bring together various pieces from all over the world, like a Brazilian butterfly and a Northamerican bird, to create a harmonious story, just like my memories».

And when we ask her what she wishes to convey with where work, she replies that «I want to convey the message that biodiversity on our planet is really precious. We are in the middle of a sixth extinction and biodiversity on our planet is shrinking at an alarming pace. I am concerned about the planet where I will get old, the one that my son will enter as an adult. I hope that my works of art will remind people that we are part of nature, we breath air from trees, drink water, eat food that is available only thanks to biodiversity».

Her works, thus, evoke the various ecosystems of our planet and her delicate paper installations remind us of the precious value of flora and fauna, which are threatened from the earth.

Her committment is not only expressed through art: Clare Celeste has also established a continuous creative collaboration with biodiversity expert Louisa Durkin, who is a researcher at the Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Center and whose studies focus on individual actions and biodiversity conservation. Together, they bring together art, science and education around the topics of sustainability and biodiversity loss.

An ancient passion

Clare Celeste tells us that she has always made collages, even as a child, and that she would also use charcoal a lot, mainly to draw figurative studies. «I have always had albums full of collage cut pieces, but that was mainly a private creative habit, and not a place where to collect ideas or a form of art per se. Then, one day, while I was working on a drawing from a very intricate collage, I understood that I liked collage more and I have never come back since then. Since that moment, my work has grown organically. I have always loved immersive installations, but it took me several years before I could find a way to turn my collage into 3D work. The idea was there well before I developed the tools to make it real, it took me several tries and errors to realize it. My first installation called «Intimate Immensity» was a first step towards an immersive work of art. Since then, my work has become more involving and consistent. With every series, my voice becomes clearer».

Paper: an instrument of beauty

Paper is «accessible», says Clare Celeste. «I like the way with which I can create depth and consistency with a flat and lightweight material; I draw my work digitally and then print it on long paper rolls of good paper weight, I print them with Latex inks and then cut them by hand».

In practice, the artist brings together thousands of cut images of flora and fauna in lush and intricate compositions, blooming with colour, humming with insects and rich in leaves. Images come from natural history archives, most of which date back to years before 1900. Most recent images are hand painted, photographed or they originate from creative commons. For all work commissioned in 3D, images are painted in acid-free 300 g/m2 recycled paper and hand-cut: this is an intricate precision task characterised by ability and attention to details.

Immersive installations

Clare Celeste has been commissioned several international jobs for her lush, artisanal and engaging flora and fauna installations: these works of art invite the viewer to enter a fantasy ecosystem, made up of hundreds of cut images that are composed one by one. The result is a complex coloured and photogenic installations, admired by target groups of all ages and providing for an unforgettable experience. They can be hung on walls or used as chandeliers, and they are fully-fledged flourishing and intricate ecosystems, capable of turning indoor spaces into airy gardens that require no care.

 

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