Elisabeth Toubro (1956-), Untitled. Metamorphosis Sculpture 2, 1992
With her Metamorphosis Sculpture, Elisabeth Toubro investigates whether a sculpture can go beyond
its traditional function as a static form,moving on to describe a transformation that involves some kind of time scale.
The classic tale of Apollo
The sculpture is based on the classic tale of Apollo’s pursuit of the fair nymph Daphne. She escapes his amorous attentions by turning into a laurel tree at the last minute.
Progressive change also takes place within each of the sculpture’s nine parts. With each new element, the first square wooden structure gains an extra edge, becoming a fraction taller. The tablet-like bottom plates gradually zoom in on a drawn map of the gardens in which the mythical pursuit takes place.
The upper fibreglass parts change from being negative, hollow shapes, slowly emerging to finally appear as the top of Daphne’s head sticking out of the final element, tangled hair and all. In each of the parts, green plates float like leaves. The punched-out letters on the plates form words that refer to the tale.
A complex sculpture
With this sculpture, Elisabeth Toubro successfully created a work of great complexity, both in terms of form and content. A work where the sculptural form extends its reach, undergoing a physical transformation of its own.