As a maker, Xavier Clarisse finds inspiration in the process of exploring materials. Trained as a sculptor and product designer, he experiments with a range of techniques from very manual production to modern and industrialised processes. Born in Lyon, France he studied mechanical theory and technical drawing before attending L’Ecole Nationale des Beaux Art in St Etienne, specialising in sculpture and product design. He has worked in France, the UK and now South Africa.
Xavier is inspired by the local surroundings – both nature and the local aesthetic. The abundant sub-tropical vegetation of Durban, his home town, is reflected in many of his designs where leaf motifs cast atmospheric light. A common theme of his work is the theatricality of the object itself – his designs often employ elements of interactivity, movement and playfulness.
Xavier’s work is represented in the Durban Art Gallery collection and his interactive, mechanical sculpture, King Protea, is on permanent view in the Presidential Suite at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. His Cabinet of Curiosities was commissioned by the Art and Global Health Centre, UCLA for an international travelling exhibition and is now in the permanent collection of the University of Witwatersrand Adler Museum. He exhibited at The Salon Art + Design tin New York in 2018.