Body at work

Plunging my hands into the clay is about building and preserving a world of one’s own, sheltered from the frenzy of those around us. It is an animal, carnal act where the gesture paradoxically speaks about being human. It reveals the question of the body and its impact on clay. The soft material that I stretch under my fingers becomes skin and bones – an invisible and underground world made of tendons and muscles. It’s fragile and ephemeral, but I walk through it just as I walk along a path that smells of peat and that envelops me. Sometimes I immerse parts of my body into it: the contact with matter is a way of being in the world at all costs.

Valérie Delarue

The Clay Room

A monumental work, created in 2010 on the occasion of a residency at the Cité de la Céramique de Sèvres. “La Chambre d’Argile – The Clay Room”  (stoneware, H: 250 / D: 540 / W: 170 cm) retains the traces of the video performance “Corps au travail – Body at work“.

Valérie Delarue built “The Clay Room” in a silo in the mill workshop in the heart of the factory at Sévres. Working without a filter, she began experimenting with the research that she had carried out on the matter, its impact on  the body in movement and the traces that it leaves in clay.