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While these works portray time in a positive light, they are often tempered by a negative complementary piece. In « Temps Generation 2 » the succession of generations is represented by the endless circle of a child, and adultand an elderly person ; the effect is moving without being nostalgic. Another viewpoint is expressed in « Temps Generation 1 » Figures subjected to a Time that is longer circular, but linear, walk inexorably towards the abyss, vanishing one by one to make way for new souls.

Like life, and like time, Nathalie Decoster’s œuvre is ambivalent. She offers up visions of time as opportunity (Rencontre dans le Temps), enduring love (La Force du Temps), pleasure hope… But she also shows the futility of man’s fight against time (le temps qui Echape, le temps qui l’emporte), the headlong flight imposed by modern life. It’s up to do us to decide which of these complementaryvisions hold resonance for us. Whether we see in « la Roue du Temps » a Sishyphus of pushing his burden for eternity or a man who imposes his will on time ; Whether we identify with « Routine du Quotidien » or with its diwhimsical pendant piece « Rupture du Quotidien »We cannot be unmoved by the life lesson offered to us. The foundations of Nathalie Decoster’s amused wisdom and arresting lucidity lie in the writtings of the philosopher seneca. Every one of her sculptures breathes a secret of a life, an access code for serenity. One sculpture may urge to seize with the day, to live in the present, to refuse to let ourselves by overwhelmed by time…

We are not only spectators who can choose either to accept time and its corollaries - life death – Or to stick our heads in the sand. We are also actors in time. We leave traces of our passage (Traces du Temps) we perceive time differently at different ages (Relativité du Temps), we can control our own time (La Maîtrise du Temps, La Roue du Temps), We can Oddly, as in any prison , create a haven of freedom and joy. Symbols, pure concepts : Pitchforks. Zinc flowerpots, glass cloches, broom heads, wood shavings… All these shapes and materials, with which Nathalie Decoster loves to play, express both reality and abstraction. There is continuity in the fundamental ambivalence between serenity and apprehension when confronting human destiny. Most of Nathalie Decoster’s sculptures reflect the duality of life and offer several readings, from joy to sadness, fear to hope. Some will see in « Temps de Moisson » The Grim reaper holding tiny human on his spikes.

But his work also remindx us of the ripenings on things, the fulfilment of humans in harmony with nature. Similary the very moving « Nid D’êtres » shows a couple of humans pathetically united in their little world of branches, both strong and fragile, together and all alone.

There is continuity in the quest for simplicy and the urge to refine. Ideas, emotions, questions wich must be immediately legible, in a line, a stem, a visual find.

It’s up to us to interpret these extremely simplified signs. Matisse said : «  an artist’s importance is measured by the quantity of new signs he has introduced into the language of plastic arts… » Nathalie decoster’s work is indeed punctuated with signs that are hers and hers alone. One of them is almost like a word in a poetic language. Her little man stubbornly persists in walking along the tightrope of time, building his destiny, altrough he must contend with the cycle of life and death, the forces of nature, and other men.


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