Transformation, the monumental sculpture created by the artist José Merino from Clermont-Ferrand, was inaugurated on November 22nd 2015 on the forecourt of the Marcel Michelin stadium in Clermont-Ferrand.
The work, as high as over 7 metres, was unveiled in the presence of Olivier Bianchi, Mayor of Clermont-Ferrand, Éric de Cromières, President of the ASM Clermont Auvergne, Gérard Duhesme, Director of the Michelin sites in Clermont-Ferrand, Jean-Yves Gouttebel, President of the Conseil Général, and hundreds of rugby players.
José Merino, artist and author of the sculpture Transformation, explains the origin of the creation of this highly symbolic work.
I wanted to create a work of art, an urban sculpture about sport and team spirit. Team sports are indeed a good example of collaboration because players share a common purpose. We are speaking conceptually of this same principle of cohesion and mutual support that allows us to move forward in our collective projects.
Designed with the support of the Michelin Corporate Foundation, Transformation is a sculpture I imagined around rugby, a sport which beautifully symbolises teamwork. Moreover, Clermont-Ferrand enjoys a close relationship with the ASM rugby club.
Transformation represents a rugby ball, made of many rings resting on each other as rugby players do in a scrum.
The work is composed of a multitude of rings becoming smaller gradually as they form the ends of the ball, giving the impression it has been placed on the grass, slightly tilted, waiting to be kicked for goal.
The rings were cut by laser, then bent and welded to form the rugby ball. The work was then cut into pieces that were transported by road to the final site where they were welded again together.
To create my sculpture, I chose stainless steel, because it is a noble and aesthetic material that is weather resistant and does not require any special maintenance.
I suggested adding a yellow interior lighting to enhance the work at night.
The Michelin Group, especially through its Foundation, has a close relationship with society and wants to be involved in the lives of citizens. But art is both a major expression of the human spirit that helps to describe and write history, and an answer to one’s intimate and deep need to leave a trace of one’s passage on earth.
Finally, thanks to the financial support to artists, the Michelin Corporate Foundation contributes to the development of culture. The works exhibited in public places or even within companies improve the living and working conditions, while strengthening community ties.