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Ian Charles Lepine seeks to present beings trapped in a crossroads of contradiction: his interest is to display creatures whose very existence negates their very existence. These are beings at war with themselves, a war where all victories cannot but prove pyrrhic.


His sculptures are frequently accompanied by a poem in either English, French, or Italian, that seeks to give word to the tragedy intrinsic to the form.

Author: Ian Charles Lepine

Year: 2022

Title: Excalibur

Technique: Ceramic clay sculpture, painted with oxides and enamel.

The mythical sword offered to Arthur Pendragon by the lady of the lake. In Arthurian legend, it is not the lady who wields it but a hand that comes out of the water, here rendered more masculine than feminine, as a mirror to Arthur's own hand, who must grab his own destiny.

    This fountain incorporates elements from the myth into its very material, thus the water that pours from the pummel is collected into a shallow mirror that reflects the heavens back into themselves.

    The sword bears no blade, save but infinity, thus highlighting its potential for creation rather than destruction. Such paradox is in some degree in the legend. Excalibur was a weapon, but its scabbard possessed magical protective qualities: whoever wore it was protected from harm.




She raised her hand to hold the very sky

As dripping from the pummel fell the lake

At once did fate resound; the earth did shake.

The blade infinity seemed to imply.

Within the seed of such a lofty spell

There hid phantasms of the world to come:

Of Camelot to live and die like Rome,

Of Guinevere, and Merlin e’er to dwell

Confined within a prison built by passion.

As such the contradiction of the blade:

To punish while the scabbard healed in aid,

Provoked in Fortune’s breast a deep emotion.

For here indeed was relic and abyss

And Arthur’s life, as well as Morgan’s kiss. 


–Bologna, Italia

24 October MMXXII

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