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  • Souffle d'acier

Art gives a new breath of life to crash-tested steel

Who knew that there was an artistic afterlife for car parts after crash tests? Now thanks to sculptress Colette Escadafal, the automotive steel test pieces that ArcelorMittal Global Research and Development submit to cold crash testing become works of art.

​Colette Escadafal, also known as a COCO.S., is a French sculptress whose art is based upon automotive steel test pieces submitted to cold crash testing that she collects, combines with other materials and transforms into sculptures.In May, her sculptures were put together in an exhibition called “Souffle d’acier” and shown at the Trinitaires church in Metz.


© Colette Escadafal

A 20-year collaboration with ArcelorMittal Global Research and Development

Colette Escadafal has been working in collaboration with ArcelorMittal Global Research and Development for more than 20 years. Colette uses flat steel samples prepared by ArcelorMittal’s research site in Maizières that are then used for cold crash testing. She meets with our team around twice a year to collect the crash-tested samples and to make customised crash tests.

Coexistence of materials

Through sculpture, Colette Escadafal heightens the wrinkled appearance of the steel, contrasting it with stone, wood, earth and even glass and crystal. Through photography, painting and video, she observes and portrays the fluid movements of the metal. A whole range of contrasts emerges based upon the coexistence of differences: straight/curved, polished/rough, light/dark, light/heavy, shiny/matt…

Colette Escadafal gives a new life to the steel destroyed by the crash test: its juxtaposition with other materials strengthens it, elevates it and reshapes it to find a new breath of life.


More about Colette Escadafal

Born in Alsace, Colette Escadafal has gradually embraced the artist's life as COCO.S during her many stays abroad. Her workshop is currently located in the Toulouse region.

Her work on the material, its texture, and the lines of force engendered by the coexistence of different materials, is a dramatised confrontation where the clashes are a game.


Official website