Venus Water Mobile - Lotta Hannerz

Lotta Hannerz - Venus Water Mobile

I stumbled across this somewhat surreal sculpture when walking through Le Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris in 2006 with a friend. The Garden was incepted by Queen Marie de Medici during the 17th century.
It would have to be one of my favourite parks.

Hannerz's Venus is siutated in the Garden is at the Medici Fountain, which has a rich history itself. The Fountain is a 19th century permanent sculpture by Auguste Ottin,  (1811–1890) French academic sculptor and recipient of the decoration of the Legion of Honor.
Ottin's sculpture depicts Ovid's Metamorphoses - Greek mythology of the love story between Acis (spirit of the Acis River, Sicily) and the sea nymph Galatea and the giant Polyphemus sneaking up on the lovers. Polyphemus, Galatea's jealous suitor drives Galatea into the sea and crushes her sweetheart Acis to death with a boulder.
 Polyphemus Surprising Acis and Galatea, (1866), the Fontaine Médicis, Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris )

Hannerz’ gigantic temporary sculpture with lovely shaped nose lips and chin protrudes mysteriously from the water, floating lightly and seems to pay homage to the Medici Fountain story – Galatea rising from the water.Also the mythology of Venus (representing beauty, love, sex, fertility and prosperity) and Venus rising from the sea as a fully plays a part. The oraficial nature of the sculpture could also relate to the fragranced garden site.

The Birth of Venus, Botticelli, 1486

Coming from a props background, the theatricality of the piece and the production of this sculpture interests me. I would think the piece is originally made from chicken wire, followed by plaster and bandage,  and then clay to create the sculpture and sealed with shellac varnish.  The mould would then be taken, probably of plaster, moulded in separate sections and reinforced with fibreglass and resin. The mould would be left to dry then removed from the sculpture. The mould would then be filled with coloured fibreglass resin or possibly silicone to create the cast. The mould is then removed from the cast, and the cast painted with many layers to create the realistic flesh colours.

The sculpture stuck with me ever since I saw it. I was drawn to its romantic, melancholic, mysterious aesthetic and since researching, the sculpture is enriched by the site’s beautiful tragic love story. This acknowledgment and connection to the site makes the artwork appealing to me.

The work also strikes some similarities with Ron Mueck's work

  Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris (Luxembourg Gardens

Vincent Van Gogh painting of the gardens 1886