Ghyslaine et Sylvain Staëlens


Ghyslaine and Sylvain Staëlens (respectively born in 1960 in Montfermeil and in 1968 in Paris) are an almost unique case in the artistic world as a fusional couple working with four hands: in total symbiosis, with a complicity worthy of jazz musicians. “We never sought out sculpture,” they say today, “it was sculpture that came to us. Our dream was to become musicians.”

In love with each other since they first met, and living together for over 40 years, they first went through a difficult period when they had regular jobs, Ghyslaine in computers, Sylvain in television. But life in Paris did not suit them and it was to escape the deadly trap of drug addiction that, after various trips to Mexico and a period of wandering in the South of France, they finally found their salvation in creation.

They frantically began to collect all sorts of natural materials – lichen, stones, wood – which they assembled to bring out the forms and characters they saw in their texture. Their first sculptures date from 1995. Shortly afterwards they moved to the countryside, to an isolated hamlet at the foot of the Cantal volcanoes. A region whose harshness, marked by Christianity and primitive magic, deeply inspires them. A whole bestiary and a whole crowd of warriors, druids and hunters, or barbarian horsemen riding strange creatures, is going to emerge from this environment, with large bas-reliefs, sandblasted with red pigments, representing “the magma of emotions” which animates us and which, in their previous period, almost took them away.

Texte de Laurent Danchin traduit en anglais

Ghyslaine et Sylvain Staëlens
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