NB: please excuse for the poor picture quality – click on the links to see better versions and more info on this work
one thing i really love about paris and travel generally is the opportunity for exploration and discovery. i remark often among friends that there is truly too much to explore and discover in this city and i’m afraid that a year is still not enough to see everything i want to see.
so on the topic of exploration and paris, i’d like to share one of my adventures with you. yesterday i decided the weather was mild enough to get out of my “box” (what my friends and i have nick-named our tiny top floor studio living spaces) and go for a nice walk around the area of république and further into the heart of northern 11th arrondissment/neighbourhood. the promise of a number of artists’ squats that i’ve been told are located here whet my appetite for adventure. the area also has a reputation for being a little more relaxed and ‘alternative’ with more young people residing here. so with a friday morning to myself i thought, pourquoi pas? why not?
and what did i find you ask? my answer: a trove of hidden treasures of not only several artists squats but some great cheap vintage stores, pockets of amazing street art and most excitingly, painter and printmaker caroline bouyer, in her shopfront studio. i spotted her beautiful prints in the front window and upon entering the shop was greeted by the artist herself, sat at her workspace next to the radio working on inking up to produce the next print. the scent of the ink and turps took me straight back to university and my own time in the printmaking studios there.
despite a bit of a language barrier (due to my nerves and subsequent loss of what french language i have) bouyer was extremely accommodating when i asked her permission to take some photos and to write this post. she told me that intaglio etching is her favourite medium to work with and that the process is sometimes very long. from sketching the design to rolling the paper and plate in the press, a lot of things can go wrong. i think this is why i found it so satisfying at university – when i began to hone my technique, less went wrong and when i finally made the ink and paper do what i wanted them to do i felt such a sense of achievement. printmaking is a medium and skill that i truly respect!
bouyer works within four categories at present: urban landscapes, busts, portraits and the ‘inner world’. i am particularly fond of the works from the inner world but i must admit i’m fond of them all. i find the appearance of texture and it’s effect on the light and the shade of the works to be really delicate and it’s clear that sensitivity and skill have been applied to all of the work you see here.
click here for bouyer’s web site and more of her work if you like what you see.
following is also a short film you can find on the artists site (particularly cool if you are interested in the printmaking process!)