Pétra Werlé

Born in 1956 in Strasbourg, lives and works in Paris

On the Nature of Things – Paris, July 2010

Pétra Werlé’s small figures look weird. They’re definitely not human. No human being would ever imagine wearing shells and feathers. There’s no flesh on their bones and with their wasp waists they’re like strange modules out of Dune.

Look at the one sitting on her egg with a smile on her face as dotty as a ladybug… Where does she think she is? With a snail for a hat and a breastplate made of mussels…

This year’s ridiculous fashion leaves a lot to be desired.

Listen to the prittle-prattle of these aliens:
Oh la la! Today’s just not my day! On my word as a dragonfly, after having my nails done, my hermit-crab hat felt so heavy. How beautiful it is! I fluff up my tutu and strut about. Yummy, yummy… that was so good. I’ve eaten too much…

I’m as round as a honey moon at its zenith. I’m a gluttonous witch in the underwater depths heading towards leaves that never wither. Would you care to dance with me, sir, or must I give you a magic dressing-down?
In this bizarre phantasmagoria, the King of Siam, a puppet raised and clad in striped flowery rags, questions the sky to find out who he can love. It’s an aquatic winter; the children are going to sleep in their mother-of-pearl grotto… but our fiery passion will keep us warm.

Go to sleep, you little imps. The dream world of elves sweeps down upon your eyelids. Chatter, chatter, chatter, what a waste of breath… there’s no point in chattering, we must flit about and tickle time as gently as can be.
No, Pétra Werlé’s tiny creatures are definitely not from our planet. With their smiles wider than the sea, they may just convince us that happiness lies in soft bread.

Lélia Mordoch