Sculptor Monique Robert depicted this stallion leaping through a wall using papier mache. The life-sized piece will be exhibited at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre from Sept. 14 to 27 as part of the Aurora Arts Society’s sixth annual Artsweek. – photo courtesy of Monique Robert
I just found this newpaper article about a Canadian sculptor in Yellowknife who creates museum-quality sculptures out of paper mache.
SOMBA K’E/YELLOWKNIFE – Sculptor Monique Robert is marshaling a myriad of monsters in midtown Yellowknife. Her work space on Forrest Park seems more like a whimsical museum than a home studio.
Robert fashions realistic-looking, supernatural animals loosely based on classical Greek and medieval European myths. Her retinue includes a muskox minotaur, dragons, giraffes, zebras, gargoyles and a centaur that is half-man, half-caribou.
“You can do whatever you want with (myth) and there are no rules,” she said. “I can come up with some really twisted characters that seem to come to life.”
Even more fantastical is the fact that Robert creates her life-sized creatures using a specialized form of papier mache. The sculptures are rugged and strong, with the look of painted wood and the solid, smooth texture of finely-sanded fibreglass. She experimented with the medium until she got the recipe just right.
“There’s nothing out there I’ve seen like it,” she said.
She has a book that shows her sculpting process. I bought a copy, and it’s an excellent resource for anyone building large sculptures that need to be light enough to hang.