After a show in Brussels in 1986, he began a period where he worked exclusively with corrugated cardboard for almost ten years. The style of Bourlier’s work that we see now seems to be the product of random chance: one day in 1995 while sitting on the beach in Normandy, a small piece of driftwood caught his eye, and he used it to make his first driftwood piece. This act of appropriation marked the transition of the artist from color to non-color, and from painting to “almost” sculpture. The only common thread from his previous work to now is the human element at the heart of his approach.
With each intervention of the sculptor, each point dug out from the wood, an expression arises from a minimal gesture – each asserts its own expression of tenderness, humor, sadness, complacency, indifference, even seductiveness. At its core, Bourlier’s work creates his little beings as metaphors for ourselves, bearers of hope who grew from their original gnarled stems into strongly defined people.