Inspired by the progressive disappearance of a population in a village in the South of France, Clémence Hémard-Hermitant imagines characters and scenes from stories and tales creating an imaginary world and a narrative that runs throughout the work.
Whether incorporating clothes and objects into sculpture or through collages and etchings, the work talks about memory, solitude, and the traces left behind. It touches on transformation and the physical and mental metamorphosis we go through. It is a tender and humorous take on life. The characters being neither human nor animal are a subtle hint at what we are and what we become and an attempt to convey, through a posture or imagery, a certain melancholy and nostalgia of this lost time.
In current works, the clothes have become shells, a suggestion of a body that no longer is. Often excluded from modern societies ageing can be represented as off putting and a weakness. Clémence’s intent is to honour these "rejects" by acknowledging their presence and by doing so, trying to have a better understanding of the withering process and why we are so uncomfortable with it.
The characters are born out of an emotional bond with a personal story but are developing a political and social dimension as growing inequalities exacerbate the ageing process, and the streets of cities such as London become an overwhelming sociological ground.