In Lozère, Patrice Lesage magnifies nature with his hundreds of sculptures made with a chainsaw

In Lozère, Patrice Lesage magnifies nature with his hundreds of sculptures made with a chainsaw

En 34 ans, Patrice Lesage a réalisé des centaines de sculptures. Midi Libre – Lucas Manouvrier

Le grimpeur-élagueur a découvert cette passion lors d’un concours de bûcheronnage, en 1989. Depuis, il est devenu formateur, animateur, et a obtenu deux titres de champion de France de la discipline en 2005 et 2009.

The chainsaw is a precision tool. Patrice Lesage shows us the perfect example. The professional lumberjack, converted into a climber-pruner specializing in delicate felling, creates superb sculptures with a chainsaw. As a child, he admired these works carved out of wood. More than the result, he envied the person who had achieved this masterpiece. Today, he is the one who occupies this place.

The fruit of chance, a competition

However, nothing suggested that the native of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux (North) was going to take this artistic trajectory. All it took was a logging competition in 1989 to give birth to this vocation. "Among the tests, there was one in sculpture. I didn't even know it was part of it, I wasn't prepared and I had never done one." With his chainsaw, he then sculpts a ax planted in a stool. "It’s at that moment that I understood that we could create things", he says.& nbsp;His work convinced the jury who awarded him a good 6th place.

In Lozère, Patrice Lesage magnifies nature with his hundreds of sculptures made with a chainsaw

A chainsaw is enough for the artist to represent animals with great detail. DR

Fifteen days later, he finished first in another competition. This time, it’s an eagle with outstretched wings that seduces the judges. Then everything came together and sculpture began to occupy a place in Patrice Lesage’s life. "I couldn't miss it." In 2005 and 2009, he offered himself two titles of champion of France in chainsaw sculpture.

In Lozère, Patrice Lesage magnifies nature with his hundreds of sculptures made with a chainsaw

Patrice Lesage sculpts instinctively, visualizing his work without making a drawing first. Midi Libre – Lucas Manouvrier

Sculptor with instinct

He worked on this talent and developed it in his own way. "I never draw before starting the cuts. I visualize what I want to do on the wood and I put myself into action." By instinct, then. Moreover, this part of the work is the one that the Mendois prefers. More than arriving at the final result, it is the design that drives and fascinates him. Moments outside of time where he finds himself absorbed by what he is doing. "Sometimes it rains and I don’not even notice it, he jokes. I never do the same thing and that's what I like."

In Lozère, Patrice Lesage magnifies nature with his hundreds of sculptures made with a chainsaw

Patrice Lesage creates magnificent stump sculptures. DR

The sixty-year-old uses wood that has been felled for at least two to three years, which he leaves to mature in his workshop after cutting. Otherwise, he sculpts on stumps, sometimes with excessive heights. "The biggest one I've done is eleven meters !"And it is with the help of three chainsaws of different sizes and powers that he arrives at a finished product. One is used to rough out and briefly trace the desired shapes, the next allows you to refine and the last is useful for details.

Hundreds of works

While he continues to prune and climb trees, his activity as a sculptor takes up a good part of his time. "Between six and eight months per year". In particular, the creation and preparation of orders, training since 2011, and animation. "I travel everywhere in France but also in Europe", he confides, despite a drop in pace due to the ;stopping of many events after the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Lozère, Patrice Lesage magnifies nature with his hundreds of sculptures made with a chainsaw

A majestic owl welcomes the postman and guests at the entrance to the house! Midi Libre – Lucas Manouvrier

Arriving in the small hamlet of Le Mas, located in the town of Mende, it is impossible to miss your house. He decorated it on all sides, with his mailbox as an entry point encrusted in a majestic owl. In 34 years, Patrice Lesage has created hundreds of sculptures. For a time, he thought about creating an art gallery but ultimately abandoned the idea. He therefore keeps all the unsold or unsellable statues in his garage, which soon risks overflowing with so many of them.

Most are oriented towards nature, more precisely animals. "I pay tribute to them, who, unlike humans, do not have the opportunity to put themselves forward."

In Lozère, Patrice Lesage magnifies nature with his hundreds of sculptures made with a chainsaw

A lion completely carved with a chainsaw. Midi Libre – Lucas Manouvrier

To discover more sculptures, go to his website www.lesagepatrice.fr. To contact Patrice Lesage, 06 12 67 68 76 or 04 66 47 19 90. I subscribe to read more

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