Berlinde de Bruyckeres Sculptures Dwell Deep into the Concepts of Fear and Death

‘Her sculptures explore life and death – death in life, life in death, life before life, death before death – in the most intimate and most disturbing way. They bring illumination, but the illumination is as dark as it is profound’. J.M. Coetzee

Belgian Artist Berlinde de Bruyckere creates sculptures which are awe-inspiring and visually impressive. Her body of work shows a profound fascination with mortality, vulnerability and solitude. She dwells deep into human concepts of fear and death. She constructs her expressive sculptures with various evanescent materials like wax, wood, wool or hair.  For her art piece ‘Cripplewood’, she invited acclaimed writer and Nobel Prize Winner in Literature J.M. Coetzee, to serve as an artistic collaborator. In this installation, De Bruyckere re-created a fallen tree, exposing fractured and splintered bones, open flesh bandaged with cloth soaked in red. The tree resembles an injuired being, and yet with time and some effort slowly regaining its vitality.

‘Cripplewood is not dead wood. Cripplewood…is alive. Like all trees, the cripplewood tree aspires toward the sun, but something in its genes, some bad inheritance, some poison, twists its bones’ J.M. Coetzee belgium1belgium3belgium2belgium4belgium5-1belgium8Berlinde-De-Bruyckere_Kreupelhout-Cripplewood

image © mirjam devriendt