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biographical notes

Bernard Gilmant was born in 1946 in Neufvilles, small rural village of Belgium.

Never he left his country, working in Brussels in communication and advertising area.

In 1990, he fiddled by accident with a lump of clay which issued a little woman. This was a eye-opener. Since, he never stopped to work this raw material, creating without reservation a little fascinating people. At this curious tribe, Bernard Gilmant added dogs with sparkling eyes. Like their author, sometimes amused, they glance over a strange world.

Many public and private collectors have manifested great interest in Bernard Gilmant's work. His sculptures are in Belgium , Germany , France , Monaco , Switzerland, Turkey…

Mentioned in "Dictionnaire des Artistes Plasticiens de Belgique des XIXe et XXe siècles" Volume III.  Ed. Art in Belgium, Lasne.

 

A few more

 

We do not know very much about Bernard Gilmant, except that coming from the world of advertising, he began sculpting by accident after innocently fiddling with a lump of clay … He obviously likes to do that and his characters belong to the world of Christian Leroy and José Vermeersch. They are small naked people, sitting, standing or simply busts, inspired by both ancient Egyptian and pre-Colombian schools. They look as though they could have been dug up by a fortunate archaeologist from some forgotten necropolis. They all have serene, almost religious expressions marked by humility, a symbol of mankind’s continuity. But they also bear witness to wounds and scars left by an adventure that has lasted for many centuries. They innocently display their nudity and homely shapes. They look as though they died suddenly, trapped by a shower of ashes, remaining frozen and a bit stunned, having lost – if they ever really had it – the ability to speak. Their age-long burial has left them surprisingly polished, making them strangely fragile. They are vulnerable and endearing. Their heads are smooth, and their eyes are sometimes coloured, a bit wild. They never provoke us, they touch us. They are now members of the contemporary statuary family.

 

Stéphane Rey – 1993 (translation)

 

Let us talk about Bernard Gilmant’s eerie bestiary, while keeping in mind that animality here is closely associated with human representation. It results in a worrisome universe in which, at the least, small characters seem to come straight from a dream that prevails over reality. Some seem to have been petrified by a telluric catastrophe, such as the one at Pompeii . This disturbing fantasizing extends into animal representations where species combine to make captivating monstrosities. This is a part of childhood: somewhere between fantasy and nightmare.

 

B. Lestarquit 2004 (translation)

 

Bernard Gilmant’s small characters are endearing, looking as if they escaped from the dreams of a child who grew up too fast but who knew how to carefully keep his heart and soul intact. It’s true that his little imaginary world seems so familiar and close to us. What if Bernard Gilmant’s successful creations, modelled with such modesty and talent to convey emotion, were not made by chance? What if these characters were already waiting for us, while his lost, collarless dogs and his fearful hybrid murines were just looking for man to reveal his love? What if Bernard Gilmant simply wants to give us some happiness while breathing warmth into his work, the kind that warms the body and makes children smile? Bernard Gilmant is a modern humanist who does not hide behind false pretexts to cry out his unlimited love for others with all of his talent.

 

Alex Eloy 2005 (translation)