PAULINE BAZIGNAN / L'ATELIER A.
by Marianne Derrien
Between erasure and appearance, simple and minimal gestures repeat themselves on paper or in clay. As fragile as they are strong, flowers that resemble celestial worlds appear and are the trace of the cycles of life and death.
This dialogue with natural elements, whether it be water for painting or fire for sculpture, is an ode to transformation and mutations.
by Laurent Le Bon
'lntérieur. Hespérides' is the fruit of a long process of research during which Pauline Bazignan sought to make the invisible, the hidden faces of things, perceptible. After peeling an orange, the artist carefully reconstructed its organic envelope and filled it with liquid clay to reveal its emptiness and asperities. The peel burns, the clay coalesces, and from this revelatory fire a series of ceramics is born. Moulds fashioned from hollowed-out citrus fruits become emergent interiors, playing on the relationship between perceptible and imperceptible, appearance and essence.
Following her 'fleurs-lignes' [flowers-lines], these interiors-interiors, male and female alike, gangue boasting precious columellae, point to a new sculptural direction in this very demanding artist's work. 'Intérieur' seems to result from some spontaneous happening during the process of impression.
by Augustin Besnier
In art, repetition can follow two different directions. The first is extensive, it aims at proliferation while confining to a model. The second is intensive, requires introspection and the realm of rituals. Of these two paths, Pauline Bazignan has chosen the second. She did not become interested in the flower by chance: after a few years in art school, the feeling of doing “nothing of any significance” began to take hold of her, so she decided to narrow her focus to something more elementary, therefore essential, just as the ascetic would use discipline to perfect their thought process.
There would be much to say about the impression of doing nothing of any significance in art. In this case, it led the artist to go from wild displays of colour to a series of monochrome disks: returning to the essence of things, stars or atoms, that could be anything but insignificant.
One might say the flowers we see before us sprouted from this seed bed. In truth, they had made appearances in previous works but mostly illustrated gravity by dropping their seeds. The flowers that the artist was to paint would now be delivered from the narrative load born by the motif, so that the paint itself might bloom.
Unsurprisingly, it was the stem that was difficult to work: it is one of those issues that painters have had to reflect on with disconcerting gravitas and often caused them to revolutionise their art. From that point of view, the flower to Pauline Bazignan is Cezanne’s apple.
After several attempts – from stencilling to tacking real stems to the canvas –, it was an accidental drip that triggered her discovery. No paintbrush or technique, just a drop of paint following its own path: nature prevails and if gravity is complied with, it is the painter now and no longer the subject.
The motif then becomes the conductor, painting exchanges it purpose – such as managing to represent some type of flower in a vase – for a, generally unexplainable, reason. As others would climb mountains just “because they are there”, it was essential to scale this particular dizzying vertical axis, even if it required a thousand attempts before understanding why.
No artist driven by such a reason to paint could become repetitive. The drop of paint will continue to fall to the ground ‘til the end of times, as will the apple – Newton’s apple in this case. Besides, imagine Pauline Bazignan holding an unpeeled orange in her hand pondering on the mystery of its invisible flesh. Though no law of physics came to her, it inspired an endless series of empty skin mouldings as if it was a necessity to penetrate any secret that might arise. Creating a void for something to blossom would therefore be as fruitful for art as in meditation, indeed Pauline Bazignan’s works offer a reason for contemplation that no models could ever comprehend.