‘(…) by fixing the appearance of transient humanity, wax acknowledges time’s passing. It attests to mortality, and acts as a subtle testament to death, a barely detectable memento mori.’
Roberta Panzanelli From: Ephemeral bodies: Wax sculpture and the human figure (2008)
The material that I work with, wax, has a lot of ambiguities. Physical ones: it can be hard or soft, warm or cold, vulnerable or solid, durable or transient. And mimetic ones: it can imitate skin very closely and therefore sculptures can be very lifelike. Besides this relation with life, it has strong associations with death, with illness and degeneration of flesh, with softness and mortality. Because of the stillness of a sculpture, it imitates flesh that is no longer alive.
I create humanlike and animallike figures, for me they are quite the same. I strive for a high level of mimesis. Therefore they are very recognisable, but still there is something different about them. I play with scale and proportions. It causes a strangeness that makes you look closer.
The physical presence of the work is very important. But at the same time, the transparancy of the wax denies that. Therefore, the immaterial, the spiritual is also present. These beings seem to come from another world, a very old world of memories, dreams and myths. We don’t have to understand. The magic is in the sensory experience and the imagination.
The work of Clementine Oomes is inspired by the beauty of decay. It revolves around contrasts, expressing the union of vulnerability and roughness: thin lines with pencil next to coarser parts with deep black glue or acrylic paint. Oomes' paper drawings depict images that are both fragile and fierce: a transparent human figure, a baby moose, a culex hive, a young deer, a deep forest. Oomes works on paper, mostly in black and white, using acrylic paint, ink, pencil and pen; but also glue and ink mixed on transparent paper. The various layers of little papers create more depth. This repetition of drawing on drawing creates a three-dimensional wax of scales. In the artistic process, Oomes allows both coincidence and premeditation; the images are taken from the world within or outside her, and sometimes she lets the image arise on the paper by itself, by brushing, washing and erasing the ink and paint. Recurring elements in her work are internal contradictions, waiting and indefinable isolation. (text Sarah van Vliet)