Inside this issue
Chance and Luck in Art
In the process of artistic creation
Christine Lavanchy is a self taught artist, painter and photograph, living and working in Switzerland. She has been fascinated by nature and almost all her work reflects this fascination.
Chance and luck occupy a prominent place in the process of artistic creation.
Thus painting and photography hold many surprises to one who lets accidents, stains or the unexpected to occur. This attitude of letting go is the key to inspiration and creation. This is the best that can happen to an artist.
The project currently occupying me, and for the last three years, is a good illustration of the above lines. It is called LE MUR. In the short version, it consists of 100 pieces of the same size, 50cm by 70cm.
About a third of paintings, a third of photographs and a third of hybrids where the two disciplines interact on the same surface. It was born of the desire to create a work of great size but also technical constraints and chance discoveries. A potential area of 5 meters by 7 meters.
I do not get up on a day with any established protocol in my head. The idea was first blurred and external and unexpected events have shaped its evolution. I'm here to tell you the story.
As far as I can remember, I always had a pencil or paintbrush in my hands. I filled notebooks with small drawings. The pencil becoming safer, and more mature expression, I began to exhibit my work. Nature, animals, mountains were the backbone of my work and painting my environment allowed me to express the energy felt in his contemplation.
At about that time, I got my first digital SLR camera. This new "sport" allowed me to experiment without limitation, even though I was self-taught. It was a new tool in my studio and opened up great potential.
I also explored the world of digital development with some well-known software, my computer darkroom in a way The resonance of multiple images and its potential has become to me as obvious. I did not know what I was doing at first, but I had clearly seen the promise of something to explore.
I was fascinated by the possibilities of image processing software, especially by working with textures and layers. This allowed to modulate the atmosphere and render a shot in a way that reminded me of paint.
But, for the painter I was, staying behind a computer, working on a virtual image, was something frustrating and incomplete. I lacked the material, odour and hands covered in colour!
I spent some time understanding how to move from screen to print, and, after many unsuccessful attempts, I finally understood that the final step in the digital photography was going to be through the printer.
Since it was necessary to print the photo, it meant that photography had to find its support. And, within the limits supported by professional printers, I started to "print" my photos on media that had nothing to do with mere paper.
It was in that time that I met Fanny and Audemars Joe Boehler, who offered me an exhibition at the ABPI Foundation of Lausanne (Switzerland).
The conditions were simple: new and large formats!
I found myself in front of a problem. The workspace of my workshop did not allow me to express myself in large formats. A 1.8m workspace gives some constraints ... So I decided to create multi-part works of a certain format consisting of several smaller elements.
As some of my photos were my red line for my paintings, once they were finished, I went back on the comparative method to examine these elements. Doing so, I realised the impact of the artworks, photographs and paintings, resonating together. Thus, the concept of the works that were presented for this exhibition was born.
This exhibition has been very rewarding to develop. Once the works were hung I felt the desire to go further in this.
By exhibiting at ABPI, I added a new component to this future project. I had begun long and patient observations of twilights at the lake where I live, but also there has been a change in altitude when hiking. Initially in a documentation process, it quickly seemed to me boring. So I started trying "tricks". I played with the speeds and focal lengths, I tamed my camera. But mostly, I discovered that one could work as a painter with a camera!
These moments watching Nature do her big show brought a new dimension.
The ground was ripe to launch this great project. LE MUR was in a gestating mode. To go into action mode, I needed money so it was a crowdfunding who gave the decisive initial impetus.
With LE MUR, I decided to create a work of great format. I wanted the viewer to be immersed in the material and colour as I had been during the shooting. And, since the concept was announced, I decided completely arbitrarily set myself a goal of 100 items. Because it's a nice figure and that pleased me.
100 elements also involved commitment and tenacity. I knew I did not choose the easy way out, but I also knew that this commitment would lead me in unexpected directions.
The original thread was made up of photographs that I brought back from my walks and my observations near the lake. These moments of contemplation allowed me to immerse myself in the atmosphere of the moment. Then, to bridge the gap between the two disciplines, I worked on pieces that I called "hybrid". The idea was to introduce a material dimension to the post processing of the images made with layers and textures, but in "real".
Thus, on textured substrates, acrylic mediums, pigments and other things, I printed the photographs that seemed to be well suited to this kind of exercise. Finally, I came over with colour, ink drawing, resin ... Those to whom I showed my work were confused because they were unable to identify the medium, lost between photography and painting.
So to not lose myself into my work, I carefully scanned and archived every part of the WALL. And this allowed me to begin the most fascinating part of this project: the composition.
I combine the pieces together until I feel this primitive energy, that inner vibration. At this point I know I am in the right and true.
Today my 100 pieces almost finished, I'm looking for this curator or gallery, who will trust me for the last part of the project!
The composition and attachment! I'm excited about the energy of the work as a whole! A fascinating step indeed!
Perhaps the most important. Reaching this point where the artwork begin his proper life.
Maturity and autonomy.