Should you happen to walk in the forests of La Colle sur Loup, Villeneuve-Loubet, or Mougins in southern France, you might stumble upon something strange yet fascinating. These twisting, portal-like sculptures made of organic material, all found in the woods, are the sculptures of Spencer Byles. Byles spent a year in these forests and used nothing but cables and the natural material around him to create these surreal pieces.
The sculptures are unmarked, and look like strange plant and geologic forms emerging from the trees and forest floor. There”s no map to them like there might be in a formal sculpture garden. This way, walkers in the woods happen across the sculptures by accident, making the experience of seeing them all the more magical. They”re at once natural and unnatural, and call to mind fairy tales of magical beings who leave mysterious traces of their presence, or doorways to other worlds.
Though impressive, the sculptures are only as permanent as the materials they”re made of. Since they”re composed of organic materials, they”ll eventually degrade and disappear back into the soil. Byles explains that this is part of his artistic process and a major part of these pieces. “The temporary nature of my sculptures is an important aspect of my experiences and understanding,” he says. “I feel my sculptures are only really completed when nature begins to take hold again and gradually weave its way back into the materials. At this point it slowly becomes part of nature again and less a part of me.”
(via My Modern Met)
There are many more sculptures that may still exist (at least in part) in those forests in France. Byles also creates other sculptures out of varying materials, and you can see the rest of them on his website.