Dora Prévost

My life

I was born in Congo (DRC) from a divided marriage and throughout my youth, I was swinging between two families; one very modest and traditional, and another a lot more affluent and with strong Western cultural ties. So from a very young age, I was unconsciously exposed to great diversity and contrasts, which I believe was the source of my inspiration later on.

One constant in my upbringing though, has been music. It is even running in my veins, as I have very prominent parents in the world of music.

 

Later, I graduated in law, and moved to South Africa in 2005 to pursue my studies; I completed a Master Degree in commercial law (LLM) in 2007 at Witswatersrand University. Long studies sharpened my critical mind and sense of dedication. I think my lawyer’s background is also the reason why I strive to make statements and claim a right through my sculptures.

 

After giving birth to my twins, I decided to take a break from the corporate world. Although I mainly used my head for the first 10 years of my adult life, I was keen to now explore what I could do with my hands. I took sculpting classes and immediately adored it. It was like therapy! Since then I am unstoppable, I can spend countless hours sculpting. There is a special place in my soul for sculpture; I can lose myself in it.

 

My work

I believe my eye for contrast is the common theme running through my work. Be it physical, emotional or spiritual, I search for connections between opposites; what is lost and found, love and anger, dignity and shame, fragility and strength… By extension, I choose to express women’s sensitivity and beauty through gender violence and by dramatizing stereotypes. I focus on the challenges that women and children encounter.  As such, my sculptures promote universal themes that connect us to each other.

I use the platform of art to break the silence around issues that touch me such as injustice, issues relating to identity, giving a voice to the unheard, advocating for women empowerment… I like to work on the theme of women because of their complexity. For me every woman is a living story and it needs a woman’s sensitivity to capture its essence.

I love creating with clay so I can explore rough and smooth textures straight from my hands. The best about it is that it’s immediate, and I have an opportunity to change things in a second. What is exciting is that touch becomes a signature and creates a sense of vitality in my sculptures that I find very rewarding. The malleability of clay allows me to work quickly; it allows me to transform a soft material into a permanent one. The strength and fragility of clay in its final stage is similar to our own life.

 

I recently had the opportunity to work with cement and managed to reach the final at the PPC Imaginarium competition 2018. My work is currently being exhibited throughout the country from the FADA gallery in Johannesburg, to the AVA gallery in Cape Town, then from the 12th July to 15th at the Turbine Art Fair and finally at100% Design South Africa from the 8th august to 13th August 1018.