Bruce Krebs presents and comments on the creation of his sculpture entitled:

The refugees
a sculpture by Bruce Krebs.

version :

All started from a small quickly outlined sketch: A boat touches end of the stem a massive block. The two entities are completely disproportionate. The boat is filled of refugees. No expression of joy nor of hope lights their faces...

This sculpture is conceived voluntarily in imbalance: A frail overhanging boat on a massive beach... Two worlds: That of the boat, animated but folded up on itself and that of the beach, statics, hieratic almost.


At the bottom of their boat, the refugees are still in their world. Being unaware of the remainder.

contrary to the famous table of Theodore Géricault "Le radeau de la Meduse" (The raft of Meduse) exposed in the Louvre Museum, they don't agitate the arms, they don't express any desire, they don't even jump to ground. The boat was slightly inserted in sand. It seems ready to rock...

On the beach, ten characters in bathing suit observe this boat. They also appear without voice. Obviously, they did not prepare to receive the boat.
These holiday people are fixed, a long girl holds a balloon in her hands, ready to continue its play. They observe the scene without appearing to really understand the situation. Nobody looks at elsewhere. They are, despite everything, all concerned.

In the boat two women help a third give birth.
A child discovers the life in the medium of the boat.

While one comes in the world, another leaves it!
Do they know at least that they arrived some share ?...
None them raises the head to see... No future.
There is nobody at the helm!

On the beach also, nobody doesn't seem to want to take of decision! disconcerted...
Who waits who? Who awaits what?

(I thought, a time, to add a death's head, half hidden in sand. But, this death's head would have diverted the interpretation of this sculpture. The death's head is associated "vanities"... I quickly gave up the idea. )

There are not many sculptures with has great number of characters (put aside "historical low-reliefs" - I think of the Phidias'plank in the Parthenon , the Trajan' column or the Vend0me column in Paris...)
Honore Daumier carried out a little plaster series about "The fugitive" (Orsay Museum). More expressive "les portes de l'enfer" (the hell doors) of Rodin witch comprises a hundred characters. Antoine-Louis Barye' hunting scenes. Orientalist too, "L'entree du Roghi a Fez" (The Roghi'entry in Fez) of Theodore Riviere (70 characters and many horses...)

A Paul Roger-Bloche' sculpture "Le couvreur tombe d'un toit" (The roofer fallen from a roof) is particularly harrowing: a man is lying on the ground, 20 neighbors surround him respectfully, but they don't carry help... A setting in scene of theatre...

Patinated plaster
Bronze: Height: 89 cm, length: 65 cm, width: 42 cm.

I've made a two minute's motion picture:
Do you want to see it?

Sorry ! this movie is speaking in french.

Do you want to go back to the art gallery ?


Bruce Krebs, sculptor
9 ter rue Amelot, 17 000 La Rochelle,
France, Europe.
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