Manuela Paul-Cavallier’s workshop snuggles in the VIth arrondissement of Paris … Between dark and light, sheltered from onlookers in the street, a small shrine of creation contains the objects that inspire the artist … Old picture frames, ebony Buddhas, small mirrors which splinter reality, peacock feathers, and also revisited vanities. However, not everything is there, visible and palpable … There is the secret emotional inspiration, admitted in an undertone … That of artistic surprises, like the pictures of Florence where she studied ancient techniques and the refined nuances of natural pigments, Rothko’s paintings in the Tate Gallery, Hokusai’s paintings, inexpressible… Like a treasure trove, the objects talk of the travels of a discreet young woman whose unique know-how is nothing other than a subtle combination of craftsmanship, art and gold leaf.
Gold leaf is nothing other than an invitation to light and the fleeting contrasts it creates reveal the raw materials. Using old restoration methods, combining a thousand alchemist’s secrets, Manuela Paul-Cavallier sets the stage for light, giving a lot of room to the material, changing the way it is looked at and inviting emotion into each of her creations.
“I like the impression, the feeling of balance, movement, the sensations that arise from the areas of shade, the sometimes unfathomable depth of the dark patches, only relieved by the gold leaf or a contrast of matt and gloss. The light shines out of the shadows. The balance of light and shade, their complementarity or their opposition, those movements reflected on the matter that are mirrored back to the person viewing the work. Even the figures that appear to be static imprint the movement of their relationship in space.”
You suddenly understand that the creations talk to one another with their eyes, in an interactive approach, as the artist gives so much life to substance and places volume at the heart of her painting … The cracks in the wood, the world’s latencies, tell a novel story, which is there forever … Of shade and gold, the leaves settle on the objects to better reveal their beauty and strength … The veins of the associated wood stand out, revealing the life it has in it …
The formats cross infinite circles … They play on the matt and shiny aspects, finding the balance sought in the momentum that carries them along. The artist goes from darkest black to white, to colored pigments, and the sensual curves of an ovoid figure, offering the multiple facets of her idea of the world. Viewers gradually see themselves in the work which appeals to something in them, the beginnings of a dialogue sparked between them and the material. For the artist, this adventure begins with the very complete work of preparing the pigments, like an immense dialog with the elements, a sensual construction with material.
Here, in this workshop, each object has its place and has the right to be a part of her inner world … Entering that world for a few minutes is also a beautiful discovery … As you do not come out of it intact, but disturbed by the concentrate of emotions that the works represent.
Everything here seems to make sense, like a sort of private artistic conversation which invites us to a new intimacy… Doubtless a moment of pure revelation that you would like to last and take home with you …