Language of the Birds
Céline Lyaudet (France) solo exhibition
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"Language of the Birds" refers to a secret, coded, and mystical language used in alchemy and poetry. As a child, Céline Lyaudet yearned to communicate with birds and unravel their hidden language. Growing into womanhood, she felt an intimate conviction that something crucial was missingan essential connection with both herself and the outer world. It became imperative for her to rediscover her link with primal, natural energies.
Her previous exploration of painting aimed to unearth buried emotions, traumas, and the landscapes of her psyche. Over the course of a year, her latest body of work delves deeply into these inner realms, exploring the intangible entities she calls "Spirits" that inhabit them. These Spirits communicate in an unfamiliar yet strangely familiar language, composed of sounds and colorful shapes that meld into a synesthetic vocabulary. They manifest in her dreams or during meditative states, akin to a trance. She allows these ethereal Spirits to guide her hand as she paints, infusing their energy with her creations.
Initially, Céline translates these visions without intellectual or critical intervention. Some of these visions are luminous, while others can be bewildering or even frightening, bringing forth enigmatic creatures. These entities serve as the guardians of her unconscious domain and the inner monsters she seeks to connect with. As the painting process unfolds, the messages within these visions gradually become clearer, and the fragments of meaning coalesce, allowing her to interpret and decipher the secret language embedded within her art.
The act of creating the paint itself follows a ritual that deepens her connection with these Spirits. Céline crafts her paint using pigments and natural binders, often
incorporating raw materials like wood ash or clay. Her paintings are infused not only with a rich palette of colors and varied viscosities but also with profound symbolic meaning. This process resembles a form of artistic witchcraft, inspired by the making of fetishes. The very materials used imbue the painting with its own unique magic and vibrations, embodying the spirit within the physical matter.
Céline draws inspiration from ancient civilizations and their cave art, a time when artistic gestures were intertwined with ritual and held a magical significance. Additionally, she finds influence in the works of mystical artists like Hilma af Klint, Séraphine de Senlis, and Hildegard of Bingen, who share a profound connection with Nature.
Céline embraces Hildegard of Bingen's words: "Humanity, take a good look at yourself. Inside, you’ve got heaven and earth, and all of creation. You’re a worldeverything is hidden in you." These words resonate deeply with her as she endeavors to unveil the hidden worlds within herself and manifest them through her art.
About the Artist: Céline Lyaudet (b. 1979, France)
Living in the Nantes area of western France, Céline Lyaudet was surrounded by art her whole life. She would watch her artist father paint and sculpt from a young age. It came as no surprise that Céline Lyaudet’s path naturally led to her becoming an artist herself.
In 2002, Céline Lyaudet graduated from Ecole supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Cornouaille in Quimper, France having majored in Set Design. However, it wasn’t until 2020 when she would finally call herself an artist. She has only just embarked on a new creative journey and she intends to embrace every aspect of it, without any limitations in practicing techniques or mediums and no obligations to limiting her art to a specific style. Céline Lyaudet’s driving force is inspiration, experimentation, discovery and curiosity.
Lyaudet’s process includes an intricate ink wash technique which involves washing and drying each layer of colour before moving onto the next. Each created layer can include a variety of mediums including acrylics, watercolour inks, Indian ink and unusual materials such as wood ashes and squid ink.
Studying scenography and having roots in the performing arts has influenced the composition of Lyaudet’s paintings. There’s movement and gesture in her subjects as if they are performing a captivating narrative for the viewer.
Figurative-abstract paintings express a certain depth and emotion that steams from an unconscious imagery. Her creations question the definition of femininity: what about its symbols and how is it represented on both a personal scale and universally. These themes are conveyed through a vector of energy that are inspired by Nature and life forms.
Language of the Birds is Lyaudet's second exhibition at the gallery, following her debut solo show Map of the Path, which occurred February 2022 at Anno Domini, San Jose, CA.
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Artist's reception: First Friday October 6th, 59pm
Exhibition dates: October 6th-December 9, 2023
Thursdays & *Fridays Noon7pm, (*First Fridays 5-9pm)