Women Protest by Emmanuelle Berthet
In the last two years I have started working on ceramics, a medium which, to me, embodies the same poetic nuance and the same vulnerability and lightness as drawing on paper. I felt the need to take my work to a three-dimensional space and create a conversation between art and craft. My unique ceramic pieces are a link between history and civilization and the intimacy of personal stories. The drawings on this bowl present a narrative that deal with the place women have gained in contemporary society. This bowl is featuring women protesting with banners, some are in movement while others are just watching, but they display different aspects of being a woman by belonging to a strong community. The blue inside is acting as the color of hope. I use a typical element of table service as a symbol of women’s domestic life, but paint it with figures that are not used in traditional dish-ware decoration. This way I am pushing the beholders to pay attention to the scene I am describing and to the meaning of what they see.
Emmanuelle Berthet Artist Bio
Emmanuelle Berthet, was born in Paris in 1967, and currently lives and works in Houston, after having lived in Italy and Belgium for several years. Berthet studied art at l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (ENSAD), specializing in the printed image. She subsequently turned to illustration, which appealed to her love of books and their images. Drawing has always been her preferred mode of expression.
In 2007 she had the opportunity to study lithography on stone with Georges Meurant in the lithography studio atl’Ecole des Arts d’Ixelles in Brussels. She rediscovered the world of printmaking but with a new focus on the painterly gestures of lithography. Working with gestural abstraction, she embarked on a personal journey free from the constraints of “communicating” in the traditional sense, instead observing the world around her through images.
“Drawing is the way I am in the world. I find inspiration in the forms of everyday things that surround me. For me, drawing is a journey: with a pictorial gesture, a brushstroke, shadow and light, and mark-making, the image comes to life on the surface of the paper. I work primarily in black and white. Black with its wide range of tones and the white of the paper allow me to be even closer to the essence of drawing.
Starting out with abstract imagery in my early career, my work has started to take a more figurative turn since arriving in Houston. Inspired by the city, which, as an outsider, I often perceived as a movie, I started to document its rich life in sketchbooks. Like a Baudelaire “flaneuse” in contemporary Texas, I walk around the city and observe its textures, scents, vibrations and images. Sometimes I work directly from the surface of the city, tracing its contours on paper. I am particularly interested in the vantage point where nature and the built environment collide and sometimes clash.
Reference to a subject exists; however my works are not about representation, but rather about revealing a feeling through a subtle play of tensions, vibrations, or surfaces. My drawings often evoke enigmatic landscapes, sometimes inhabited by silhouettes in motion, sometimes still. They are based on memories of places I visited or things I dreamt, such as Italian gardens populated with “Genius Loci”
In the last two years I have started working in ceramics, a medium which, to me, embodies the same poetic nuance and the same vulnerability and lightness as drawing on paper. I felt the need to take my work to a three dimensional space and create a conversation between art and craft. My ceramic pieces are a link between History and civilization and the intimacy of personal stories. By drawing on ceramic, observing social life I’m telling about social interactions, women’s position and political aspect of their fights.”