Painting on canvas, bronze sculpture, wooden chariot, linen, braid.,... (2004)
The fragments of memory are oval shapes, bound together and covered in writing, which each contain a secret object.They were found in the imaginary civilization called Arbonie. Arbonie came about after an unexpected encounter with the Forêt de Soignes. After Jephan de Villiers dreamt that the forest flew away during a stormy night, a character with outstretched wings was born. In the mezzanine, the figure has grown larger and protects 210 fragments of memory, which were found during excavation works and are now visible in a large pit that is closed with a glass slab.The walls are covered in writing. At the platform level, where the tracks cross, a large chariot of memory stands in a glass cage that is visible from the whole station. It appears to have been left there by a marching crowd. “When I first saw Albert station, I imagined an underground archaeological place where new remains of Arbonie had been discovered…on a human scale”, explains Jephan de Villiers about his work of art.
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JEPHAN DE VILLIERS
With a collection of twigs and dead leaves from his grandmother’s garden near Versailles, Jephan de Villiers unknowingly laid the foundations of his artistic career at the age of 14. Later on he left France for the bright lights of London, where he exhibited his plaster sculptures. A trip to Brussels led Jephan de Villiers to the greenery of the Forêt de Soignes, where he picked up the first “wooden body”, a foreshadowing of the “Voyage en Arbonie” (Journey to Arbonie). Since then everything that he has used in his work comes from this secret world of organic matter that has fallen on the ground. During his walks through the woods he picks up birch bark, chestnut shells and roots which take on a new life in his works of art. Today he divides his time between the Forêt de Soignes and the bay of the Gironde river. This maritime world also gave him inspiration for his works of art. Since the opening of his workshop in Charente- Maritime, he mostly uses wood that washes up on the shore.