2019. It feels like a lifetime ago. But before the days of hand sanitizer and face masks, internationally renowned Visual Artist Sasinun Kladpetch was experiencing the highlight of her career, travelling from her current home of San Francisco to France for a prolific event in the art industry.
Chateau D’Orquevaux is an artist residency in the French countryside. Kladpetch was one of the select few artists from around the world that attended this residency in August 2019. She won out amongst thousands of applications. When she arrived, she did not know what she wanted to create, looking locally for inspiration. Then, the director of the residency offered her the opportunity to create a large-scale sculpture to be a permanent collection on the property, an outstanding accomplishment for any artist.
“Sasi is extremely collaborative while maintaining her vision. There were a lot of technical issues we had to figure out on how to make her regular sculpture size into a monumental size for the sculpture park. Sasi was very collaborative and open to ideas,” said Ziggy Attias, Director of Château D’Orquevaux. “Sasi is very consistent in her ideas and has a strong vision on what it is she wants to express with her work. She is meticulous in the details and doesn’t stop until she achieves what it is that she is after.”
The sculpture is made of concrete using local supplies and materials such as moss and dirt. Kladpetch was able to experiment with the method by using land as a mold to pour concrete in, connecting herself to the environment and finding true inspiration in the process. She was able to cross the limitation of the scale of her sculpture, as this particular piece is 8 x 8 x 3 ft. with solid concrete.
“I was inspired by the surroundings of the chateau. It is so peaceful and with an abundant amount of moss in the woods. Nature is surrounded 360 degree. I wanted to create something that related to the location by using material I could find in the area. This sculpture eventually will allow moss and plants to grow on it, which will truly make this piece come full circle,” said Kladpetch.
Kladpetch was aware that in making a permanent piece, it would stand for hundreds of years at the Chateau, and she wanted to make something that would transform over time. This piece will be fully covered by plants and moss as the years go by. To do this, she had to conduct a lot of research and calculations. By using concrete, she had to add metal rebar to support the structure of the piece. She also had to add other materials to help with its weight and large size.
“With the piece being a place for plants to grow, it will never look the same each year, which is in itself its own work of art, once it becomes one with nature,” she described. “It was a great challenge for me to think about how to make a large-scale sculpture that involves a lot of construction material and proper skill, despite having worked with concrete and casting before.”
The sculpture was casted and stayed inside the hole for a few months while it set. After Kladpetch left, they pulled it from the ground. She was meant to return at that point to install it on the property, but has been unable to return due to the COVID 19 pandemic. She is greatly looking forward to installing it to its forever home once the pandemic is over. As a permanent sculpture for the property, it will be visited by hundreds of artists every year for decades and even centuries to come.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for such an opportunity. This event encourages me to think outside the box and be more confident in what I am capable of. Also, how wonderful it is to have met all the people from around the world. It was an amazing opportunity to make wonderful relationships with people from all over,” she concluded.