Esteban Richard’s work is one of those emerging practices that combine formal ambition and responsible commitment. Deeply aware of the environmental issues that threaten our planet, the young artist builds an active artistic work that is not satisfied with denouncing or indicting the human impact on the natural environment, but which is born and nourished by the citizen’s gesture in the service of a necessary transformation of our habits. With as much poetry as generosity, he also invites the public to join him in his approach.
Invited to exhibit at the Saint-Maurice abbey in Clohars-Carnoët in Finistère which has long been committed to a cultural approach to environmental issues, Esteban Richard has chosen to present and continue his Totem series, which was initiated upon his graduation from the Ecole Européenne d’Art de Bretagne – Brest in 2014 and which took him to the coasts of Brittany and Greenland. Now emblematic of his practice, this series of objects constitutes for him the first real iteration of his awareness of the possibility of mixing in one and the same activity his artistic practice and his passion for the ocean, as well as his curiosity for the universe of marine biology and ecology.
The principle is simple, effective, pragmatic, and straightforward in both artistic and ecological terms. The artist surveys the coastline to glean plastic waste washed up by the waves. Once the collection is complete, Esteban Richard processes this raw material, combining grinding and modelling to produce shapes evocative of the marine vocabulary. These are then threaded onto masts to produce his Totem before being installed on the coast, not far from the place where the plastic materials were discovered, like so many signposts of an imperative collective commitment.
“Although the shapes are stacked, like pearls, it is rather the idea of the abacus that I am invoking. Each pole is made from a specific weight of plastic, the nature and provenance of which are clearly established. This information is also indicated on a caption attached to each Totem. Buoys and floating beacons are also objects that influence me a lot. I wanted to preserve a certain language, a vocabulary of forms specific to the maritime world. These geometric figures, like the buoys, evoke a kind of signposting, a kind of informative or preventive code that does not distort the landscape. “
During a residency of several weeks in Clohars-Carnoët, Esteban Richard proposed to locals to go on a collection with him to produce new forms emanating from this very territory.
Born in 1990, lives and works in Brest.
Graduated of EESAB-site in Brest in 2014, Estéban Richard is a visual artist committed to eco-responsible research in the marine environment. He participated in the AKTA expeditions in Greenland and Sailing Hirondelle and worked as a scientific mediator in marine biology and ecology at Océanopolis in Brest from 2019 to 2021. His work has been exhibited at the Frac Bretagne in Rennes and at the Raymond Hains gallery in Saint-Brieuc in 2015, as part of Rendez-vous in Saint-Briac-sur-Mer and the Festival de l’Estran in 2016 and at Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain in Brest in 2017.
Exhibition to discover at the Saint-Maurice abbey in Clohars-Carnoët:
- Every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. except the sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Entrance fees (no supplement for the exhibition):
- Full price (+16 years old): 5€
- Reduced price (12-16 years old, unemployed person, students, Finistère passport, disabled people, Guide du Routard): 3€
- Free: children under 12
+ Visit the Clohars-Carnoët website
Imagery: © Esteban Richard