Choreographies of everyday life, the movement of bodies in space, the thrust of a line, that draws in, turns off course and spreads out to form a dynamic geometric structure as intricate as are human relationships.
From the gesture of the hand arises not a silhouette but an emotion, a moving "being" in constant search of others and of oneself.
Brief encounters, diverting gazes, bodies that move along different paths, cross each other and depart in a never ending dance.
These are a few ways in which to express the ceaseless rhythm of life that keeps us going.
Choreographies of Everyday Life / The Dance of Life
When I started following jewellery metal technique courses after my contemporary art history degree at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, I had no idea it would lead me to develop the Graphic Structures that I now make.
I was 35, with 10 years experience in the jewellery world, when I created my first designs, with the opal on center stage. I never chose traditional opals. It was either their color or their shape that would initiate a unique story shaped visually.
Then followed a series of lozenge brooches, to explore different ways of working and texturing silver.
Slowly the shapes loosened up, were articulated and linked together by rings shaped differently, until I started using only the wire that held them together.
Originally, my idea was to draw in space with oxidized silver wire that gave the impression of 3D pencil lines. I was drawing a lot of live models at the time to make mine the human body proportions in my search at designs that should fit the body closely.
From then on, the graphic line developed into a variety of rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings made of silver, gold and titanium wire, as well as body sculptures made of silver tube and titanium wire, expressing visually the non verbal body language we all perceive but seldom voice (“Body Electric «torso piece, “What do I hear” head piece, “Wings” shoulder piece).
These 15 years of research in contemporary art jewellery evolved into the graphic structures of today.
At first, there were energy lines, coming together and diverging to form a dynamic pattern. The architecture of music was a great source of inspiration, until the rhythm and geometry of these patterns made me think of choreographies, the visualization of movements made by dancing bodies. Group dynamics has become a theme throughout. How does a group movement react to different types of pressure? Violence, as we all experience very much nowadays, goes hand in hand with change and the forces resisting this change. How can I express this violence by way of my graphic structures?
With my youth passion for contemporary dance re-enlivened I decided to explore how I could combine it with my love of drawing and photography as well as the graphic structures.
Movement, the movement of the hand rather than the line, the “being” rather than the silhouette, the expression of a constant search for the Other and the Self are the emotions that underlie my drawings made with latex paint, the texture of which resembles liquid skin.
Moving among people, taking pictures randomly and witnessing furtive encounters, glances, comings and goings, the dance of bodies in the shadow and light architecture. Compositions that express the restlessness and instability of the world we live in.
These are three of many ways to approach a theme, choreographies of everyday life, and the dance of life. From how they influence each other will emerge a new dynamics, an unexpected way of perceiving the world around me.
If you want to know more about my work please visit my blog at http://marielechat.blogs.lalibre.be/ .
Université Libre de Bruxelles: Art History Phd 1979
Institut Arts et Métiers Bruxelles Jewellery Techniques 1980-1983
Sir John Cass School of Arts London Metal Techniques 1985-1986
Rijksacademie Anderlecht Brussels Model drawing 1991-1995
Rijksacademie Anderlecht Brussels Photography 2002-2005
- Triennale Européenne du Bijou Contemporain, 2005, Belgique
- "Diamant au Masculin", Musée du Diamant, 2004, Antwerp
- Troisième Biennale du Bijou Contemporain, 2003, Nîmes, France
- World Competition of Arts & Crafts Kanazawa 2001, Japan
-"Silver 99", 1999, Poland
Many group exhibitions in Belgium and Europe since 1990