Fire Corals

Claudia Comte

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Claudia Comte, Fire Corals, Rendering 2022

Claudia Comte, Fire Corals, Rendering 2022

Fire Corals, 2023

Ceramic, each sculpture is individually glazed along a colour gradient.

38 x 35 x 16 cm (approximate)

Signed edition of 10 + 1 AP

Image: Rendering by the artist.


'At the invitation of LEAP, I was given the opportunity to develop a limited edition of 10 original ceramic sculptures, each individually glazed along a colour gradient.

The form of the object is derived from my artistic vocabulary of forms of cactus, coral and leaves, in this case from a fire coral specifically. This five-pointed coral will be produced in ceramic for the first time. Modularity is an important aspect of my work, present in this edition as the colour gradient echoes the colours used in the series 'Jungle Paintings' from 2021.

While my work has long been influenced by trees, specifically the forests surrounding my hometown in Grancy, Switzerland, this edition is inspired by my interest in marine biology and aquatic observation. This results of a residency at the ocean conservatory 'Alligator Head Foundation' in Jamaica with TBA21 Academy in 2019.

This series seeks to bring to life, through a sculptural vocabulary, the wondrous world of marine environments, through which questions surrounding the critical state of our natural environment, its biodiversity and gradual warming, can be made conscious. The artwork stands in relationship to the challenges we are currently facing caused by the climate crisis and our perception of scale by magnifying what is easily overlooked. Fire Corals aims to make ourselves conscious about these processes occurring on our planet and enables us to reflect on the magnificence of art revealing life in the tiniest things in this case only visible for underwater visitors and habitants.

The gradient starting in white transiting through yellow and red into black is generated digitally, clashing with the time intensive work behind the process of working on a ceramic sculpture. Yellow and red are conceived as warm colors, allowing the association with heat and fire. Fire corals are named like this because of the intense pain they cause when touched, as their thin branches bear small cells that inject a painful toxin into the skin. But humanity is more of a threat to the coral as the other way around, as fire corals are endangered due to the rise of temperatures in the oceans as well as overfish- ing caused by the impact of climate change.'

- Claudia Comte, 2022

Claudia Comte ©Gunnar Meier

Claudia Comte

Claudia Comte (b. 1983, Grancy) is a Swiss artist based in Basel, Switzerland. Her practice is guided by a longstanding interest in teasing out the history and memory of biomorphic forms through traditional hand processes, industrial and machine technologies. Comte’s site-specific installations bring together monumental wall paintings and sculptures playfully inspired by organic patterns and morphology, paying testament to the intelligence and transformative capacities of the ecological world.

Her work has been widely presented in solo and group exhibitions, including Through Dry Ocean Forests, Albarràn Bourdais, Madrid (2022), An Impending Disaster (HAHAHA), Galerie König, Wien (2022), Geometric Opulence, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2022), Desert X AlUla (2022), Tree Line Curve, Rolex Learning Center, EPFL Lausanne (2021), The Dreamers, 58th October Salon, Belgrade Biennale (2021), After Nature, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid (2021), Jungle and Corals, König Galerie, Berlin (2021), The Sea of Darkness, Kunstraum Dornbirn (2020), How to Grow and Still Stay the Same Shape, Castello di Rivoli (2019), I have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees, Copenhagen Contemporary (2019), Zigzags and Diagonals, MOCA Cleveland (2018), among others.