Chilling out under Coogee jetty on a hot summer morning
Au frais sous la jetée à Coogee par une chaude matinée d’été.
I came back from Europe early August; I will be leaving Australia to return to Europe in a few days. ‘Arrived’, ‘departed’, that’s what is stamped on my passport every time I arrive and leave Australia.
Je suis rentrée d’Europe en Australie début août, je partirai d’Australie dans quelques jours pour retourner en Europe. ‘Arrivée’, ‘Partie’, voilà ce qui est tamponné sur mon passeport à chaque fois que j’arrive en Australie et quand je quitte le pays.
The last two months have been very creative and active, preparing for two exhibitions.
Ces deux derniers mois ont étés très créatifs et actifs dans la préparation de deux expositions.
The first one is a group exhibition being held in Munich at Studio Gabi Green, opening 17 October. The theme and title of the exhibition is ‘Marken-Schmuck’. This title plays on the double meaning of ‘marken’ in German, which means both stamp and brand. Stamp here can be interpreted in many ways, the first one of course being postal stamp.
La première est une exposition de groupe qui va se tenir à Munich au Studio Gabi Green, vernissage le 17 octobre. Le thème et titre de l’exposition est ‘Marken-Schmuck’. Ce titre joue sur le sens multiple de ‘marken’ en allemand, qui peut signifier selon le contexte : timbre (postal ou autre), tampon et marque.
The other exhibition I will be participating to is organized by the Jewellers and Metalsmith Group of Australia (JMGA WA) and is being held in Fremantle (Western Australia). The theme of the exhibition is ‘Wear/Ware/Where’ and it will be opening on 16 October (venue to be confirmed).
L’autre exposition à laquelle je vais participer est organisée par le ‘Jewellers and Metalsmisth Group of Australia’ (JMGA WA) et va se tenir à Fremantle (Australie Occidentale). Le thème de l’exposition est ‘Wear/Ware/Where’ (homonymes qui se prononcent de la même manière mais qui ont une signification différente : Porter/Ustensile/Lieu).
I was able to develop a body of work that satisfied simultaneously the themes of both exhibitions which made the whole experience very interesting.
J’ai pu développer une collection de bijoux qui réponde simultanément aux critères des deux exhibitions, ce qui a rendu l’expérience très intéressante.
Australia is where I live – I hold a Permanent Resident Visa. France is where I’m from – I hold this connection lively. The immigration stamps on my passport record my whereabouts. They are the imprinted memory of my dual identity.
I used the images of my visa and passport stamps as the visual basis for my jewellery, either on paper or on recycled sterling silver. I explored paper as a new medium, as a means of exploring my femininity. The images were stripped and folded in a ‘noeud-papillon’ in French (literally ‘butterfly-knot’ or a bow-tie). The butterfly, in Aboriginal (Nyoongar) culture, is the most delicate feminine creature. The earthy colours of the natural pigments, the Sandalwood and Quandong seeds also talk of the Australian landscape. To transfer images on silver I used a non-toxic, environmental friendly process where no acid is used, as opposed to traditional etching.
Je vis en Australie, j’ai un visa de Résident Permanent. Je suis d’origine française. Les tampons sur mon passeport enregistrent mes va-et-vient. Ils sont comme la mémoire imprimée de ma double identité. J’ai utilisé les images de mon visa et de ces tampons comme base visuelle pour la création de mes bijoux, soit sur du papier soit sur de l’argent recyclé. J’ai exploré le papier comme un nouveau medium, le caractère fragile du papier étant un moyen d’explorer ma féminité. Les images ont étés découpées et pliées à la manière d’un nœud papillon. Le papillon, dans la culture Aborigène (Nyoongar ) de l’Australie Occidentale, est la créature féminine la plus délicate. Les graines de Sandalwood, de Quandong, et les couleurs de pigments naturels font tous référence au paysage australien. Pour transférer les images sur de l’argent j’ai utilisé une méthode non-toxique et non polluante de gravure, différente de la gravure traditionnelle qui utilise des acides.
I have really enjoyed developing a narrative and talking about my story through these wearable objects. Photos of the jewellery will be posted on the blog once the exhibitions have started.
J’ai eu beaucoup de plaisir à développer un narratif qui raconte mon histoire à travers ces objets que l’on porte. Les photos des bijoux seront sur le blog une fois les expositions ouvertes.
Recently returned from a trip to Europe, here are some images from Paris and Munich. I have been asked many times to post in French as well as English, so I will do so from now in italics. As you can see the photos have been ‘artistically’ modified – because I like them that way. These images hardly summarize all the sights, encounters and experiences of this trip.
Rentrée récemment de voyage en Europe, voici des images de Paris et Munich. A la demande générale mon blog sera desormais également en français en italiques. Comme vous pourrez le voir les photos ont été ‘artistiquement’ modifiées – parce qu’elles me plaisent ainsi. Ces images sont à peine un résumé de tout que j’ai vu, des expériences et des rencontres de ce voyage.
Now back in Perth to my studio, preparing for two exhibitions for October. More about that soon…
Maintenant de retour dans mon studio à Perth, pour la préparation de deux expositions en Octobre. Plus de détails prochainement…
This is the final version of rubble mirror
These two artworks speak of the making of my new identity as a French woman migrant in Australia and emerging artist.
They show two levels of appropriation and interpretation:
Firstly, I assembled shards found on the beach, remnants of earlier European settlement. I staged these found objects as one would of living characters; I enjoyed the play of their relationships.
During that period of assemblage, I wrote about my emotions.
In a second phase I photographed my sculpture and digitally edited it. By including my writing into the image I put myself into the landscape. I created a sense of belonging.
I pick up a piece of rubble on the beach, I pick up myself
What do I make of it? What do I make of me?
Discarded, junk, rubbish that no one cares about, on this deserted beach
What do I see?
I see patina, cracks and lines left by time, tensions, and pulls in different directions
I see roughness and smoothness together in contrasting beauty
I see character that stands out amongst uniformity
I see potential of something more, once associated with others
Shall I leave the rubble there, to be taken away by the ocean?
Washed away, drowned
The water slowly making materiality dissolves
Opening cracks like open wounds
Slowly bringing it back to sand to disappear in the ground
Or shall I bring it home? Safe inside
On the table, shall I give it company or leave it alone?
It has a life of its own and spontaneously finds its place
A dialogue opens up with who is already sitting there
Contrasting lines, complementary textures, shades of colours
The play is exquisite and all-consuming
Pleasure and delight
That’s what a piece of rubble picked up on the beach gives me.
Showing your work as an artist – especially emerging as I am – involves a certain degree of risk. Part of the process of becoming an artist is getting used to show your work, and getting used to receiving feedback, whatever it is going to be, including silence. We would all love to receive only praises and compliments. Like the child that runs to her mother to show the drawing that she just made. She wants to hear her mummy say ‘that’s beautiful darling, do another one’. But hey, not everyone in the audience is your mummy and we have to live in peace with ourselves and our art hearing things like ‘it’s nice’ or ‘it’s different’.
As American painter Franz Kline put it: “The real thing about creating is to have the capacity to be embarrassed.” I recently discovered that saying and I love it. My experience is that being a creative artist resides in my ability to expose myself, vulnerable, with my doubts and anxiety, and to keep to doing it. “Just DO!” as Sol LeWitt brilliantly wrote to his young artist friend Eva Hesse.
Descartes is famous for his saying ‘I think, therefore I am’. With all due respect for the French philosopher, from whose culture I come from, thinking is just not enough to make me who I am. My thoughts go around in circle, in some sterile, repetitive motion, if they are not expressed in some way. I need to say something, or do something with that thought in order to feel that this idea takes form in a material way. Speaking is the primordial way for a human being to express one’s existence; it is a baby’s first cry. Speech is a form of creation. To let the word say what one feels, what one thinks. Making art is another form of creation, through matter, colour, and form. It is a way of saying ‘here I am, this form, this shape, these colours, this is me’. I want to share it with you and hear how it makes you feel.
I’m not all rational, logical, and Cartesian. I am emotional, impulsive, and intuitive; especially when it comes to creating something. First comes out the emotion, the intuition. Second comes out the analytical, rational mind.
Creating is a self-referral process. As the Bhagavad-Gita (IX.8) says ‘Curving back on my own Nature (my Self), I create again and again’. For this creative process to happen, it needs to take on a direction, to flow out and take form. There are constantly three elements interplaying with each other – the creator, the process of creation and the object being created – yet at all time there is an experience of wholeness and oneness.
Julia Cameron has warned us in The Artist’s Way of the danger of showing ones’ work at a too early stage, before one has reached a safe degree of confidence in one’s creation. She says that “creativity flourishes when we have a sense of safety and self-acceptance.” (p42) There are saboteurs of art out there, often blocked artists themselves, who – consciously or unconsciously – will stab you with a sharp line. But once you feel satisfied with the work done, once you feel you have achieved what you wanted to say, then you can expose yourself – in all meaning of the word. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and you can now hear them all. It won’t stop you saying what you wanted to say, because you’ve already spoken. You’ve already created that piece of something that was part of you, itching inside, that you’ve pulled out, and hung on the wall for everyone to see.