ARTIST: Michel Argouges
LOCATION: near Nashua Public Library
The Shell and the Shields is the story of this turtle. When the subject of the turtle’s influence on European civilization was proposed to me, I looked to the past and was reminded of the Roman’s conquest. They used the war technique termed “The Turtle” when the roman army, driven by Marc Antony, was fighting for Rome near Iran. They were attacked and driven back by the arrows of the enemy. Marc Antony imagined a new defense and attack method: he grouped the soldiers as a square and ordered them to put their shields above their heads and all around them. The moved towards the enemy and defeated them. My work mixes the turtle shell shape and the shields in a composition of curves and angles, softness and sharpness. The planes in the front and the back of the sculpture create various forms in the sunlight while also emphasizing lines of shadows. The round volume on the middle allows the light to drape onto it. This artwork is a hybrid creature—a mixture of a peaceful animal and a war machine. It is also a reflection on the ability to adapt and use all that nature gives us for our goals.
Michel Argouges uses natural materials to make many of his sculptures, including granite, steel, stone, and wood. He began in movie studies, worked as a photographer but found his interest in sculpture by travelling in South America and working as an assistant for Brazilian sculptor, Mario Cravo.
After working as an assistant in Brazil, he returned to Europe and started to work on sculpture, learning to carve stone in a quarry in France. He has done different works in Paris for the theatre, fairs, and exhibitions, like builder and manufacturer decors. He currently pursues his sculpture in his workshop in Southern France.