Style Curious


Curiously communicatory sculptor, Hacene Sadoune

I recently met Hacene Sadoune, a French sculptor responsible for producing a number of special works to commemorate the 2007 Rugby World Cup in Paris. I wanted to find out what he’s up to now and to talk about his inspiration for his latest pieces, exclusively available in the UK via the ShopCurious website.

Hacene has never had a formal education in sculpting, although he says he “always had a facility to speak through drawing”.  His expertise and passion for art has grown out of many years practice, together with four years spent as a metal engraver (which, he says, accounts for the level of precision in his work). Hacene then “escaped” the world of metal engraving, using multimedia tools to “satisfy a curiosity”. However, the virtual world didn’t quite win the day, as he’s still working with his hands! This is mainly due to a chance encounter with Maitre d’art, Michel Lorenzi, through whom Hacene disovered moulding and sculpture, on an impromptu visit to his workshop. Today carving has become Hacene’s main form of expression.

When asked what makes him really curious, Hacene twists the answer around and explains that “the curiosity lies in the symbolism of my work… and the way that everyone interprets it in a unique way, according to their own experience.”   

The principle of the individual response is perfectly illustrated by the Eiffel Tower sculptures -  the same subject in 25 different colours, each generating a different reaction! Likewise with the extraordinary and striking busts he has created: vibrantly coloured versions of works by famous French sculptors, including La Negresse Captive, Le Chinois and Le Genie de la Danse  by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Buste de l'ete by Jean Antoine Houdon and Juliette by Joseph Chinard.

I asked Hacene about his approach to his work and he explained that sometimes ideas just spring like magic. For the Rugby World Cup, he was given a theme – the fraternal spirit that is generated when people join together to play a sport. He embodied this concept in two sculptures – one with a ball in two halves with joined hands in the middle, the other called ‘At the heart of the illusion’ is an open ball in the shape of a heart, representing the colour of skin – black and white, with a blood red interior, on top of a base symbolizing the Tower of Babel.

Hacene always works in clay to start, but also makes resin or plaster models. First he comes up with the idea, then he draws the form, before mixing the materials and modelling it. Sometimes he gets up in the middle of the night to make some changes. The size of sculpture he works on varies too: recently he created a 4 meter high door for a Shinto temple and some statues in excess of 3 meters tall for a national park.

When asked about the inspiration for his creations, Hacene replies “Man doesn’t invent anything, we all draw on the collective imagination of mankind, but we add our own footprint, stemming from our unique sensitivity and experiences”.

Whilst he likes to visit areas of natural beauty, or old cities that are steeped in history, Hacene can think of nowhere better to be than in his studio. He would love to do more work with a moral or fraternal dimension, perhaps create some unusual sporting trophies. Finally, he explains that his philosophy of life is the Rudyard Kipling poem ‘If’.

Thanks Hacene, you've provided us with plenty to think about!