‘Inside Your Depths’ 

Aidée Bernard, papermaker and artist, completed a 3 month residency this spring at La Maison Garenne in Saint Sauves, Auvergne, France. Through her paper made from local plants she experimented with bringing together the diverse expressions of plants, texts and humans. She aims to emphasize the deep nature of our multiple and plural identities which unveil themselves via the transparency of her paper.

Au Creux de Toi”, a presentation of the residency in the form of a video, text and plant paper installation was exhibited at La Maison Garenne, 8th July to 4th August 2017.

The cellulose fibres used to create my paper all came from plants gathered locally and processed by myself in soda lye according to the ancient Chinese method of papermaking: nettle, grasses, straw, rye, maple, beech, moss, Japanese knotweed, iris, reed, holly, and ivy.

With this seasonally varying living matter, I make the paper from which my works are created. The transformation of the plants into the cellulose fibres through the alchemy of cooking provides an expressive and luminous material, in itself a source of inspiration. Being so close to these other living beings, those of the plant world, raises the question of our capacity to co-exist, invites us not to be a user of the resources of the planet but a co-creator of the world. In this way through my poetic lens, I wish to pay homage to the bond humans have with plant life and with all things, visible and invisible, that constitute the living fabric of our ecosystem.

The film projected in the installation results from encounters, planned and unplanned, that occurred during my residency. I wanted it to bear witness to the bond between humans and plant life but also to certain aspects that are fascinating in relation to my artistic practice notably its constant involvement with the element of water.

The texts drawn in watermarks are either those that inspired me during my walks in the region; those of the poet Lionel Parrini, that resonate with the pieces created during the residency; or those of the local adults and children who shared with me their relationship to paper, to the plant world, and to nature.

The residency resulted in a publication produced by the Le Bief cultural centre at Ambert. Of this book, 300 copies were printed with a unique silkscreen on an insert of tracing paper, and 150 copies in limited edition having the silkscreen on an insert of actual plant paper.

 

Avec le soutien de Dômes sancy Artense,