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The mesmerising driftwood sculptures of Japanese artist Nagato Iwasaki.
All of the figures are part of an interconnected work that Iwasaki calls simply ‘Torso’ and each have undergone a painstaking process of construction over the past 25 years.
“Gathering bits of wood from here and there, like an insect building a nest, I create sculptures” says the artist in one of his few interviews. Driftwood of just the right shape and size to mimic a human collarbone or the curve of a pelvis
don’t come floating down the river every day. The slow, meditative process is as much a component of bringing the figures to life as their foraged bones.
Many of the figures are ‘complete’ with alien-proportioned heads and fully fleshed out musculature, giving them an unmistakably - albeit uncanny - human presence.
Others meanwhile are cut off at the waist or missing limbs as if dissembling of their own accord, a frightening image to come across in the woods.
Though he has exhibited internationally the forest settings far better suit the figures than a white cube gallery, free to change colour with the natural elements, creaking and bowing with the effect of rainwater, gathering and uncovering a cloak of moss with the seasonal shift.

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