Borneo Fundraiser art

I was asked by some older students to donate some of my work for an art auction to raise funds for reforestation in Borneo. The first thing that came to mind was my leafy triptych on loan to AncrAges association. However, it seemed so perfect in the food bank distribution room, that I couldn’t bear to take it. Instead, I decided to create new art to voice my own passion for global rainforest and biodiversity conservation efforts – and one of my favourite animals too, the orangutan. We have been donating to the Bruno Manser foundation for years and had received a print of a map drawn by the Penan tribespeople, as a thank you gift.  I used that as a starting point for one and an old wood-framed mirror for the other. The painting on the mirror allows the viewer to see their own eyes in the eyes of the orangutan.

Madagascar Set Design

I had such fun coordinating the set design for the Swiss première of “Madagascar JR” at the Nations campus of the International School of Geneva. I loved witnessing my students’ flamboyant 3D trees and flowers burst into bloom and fill the corridors, but I must admit that I also relished every minute of quiet, solo overtime spent on painting the zoo and jungle backdrops! These panels are now a permanent fixture in the Nations corridors as a colourful reminder of the whole joyful process from start to showtime!

IMG_0528IMG_0573IMG_0577IMG_0574IMG_0575IMG_0542IMG_0530IMG_0529IMG_0578

Gala Bohème, 22nd April 2017

I was asked to take charge of the decoration for the wonderful Gala Bohème fundraiser organised by AncrAges and Chateau Vert at the Martin Luther King centre in Annemasse on the 22nd April. Such an unforgettable evening of colour, music, laughter and solidarity. Thanks especially to the fabulous Flocking Murmuration for playing for free! Also so special to have the talented and lovely Nicolas Maurel making this incredible mural live at the event!

Catching Dreams

img_8418img_8403img_8406This summer, the kids and I got hooked on making dreamcatchers, first of all to catch the bad dreams my daughter had been having and then just because it was so much fun! We collected the feathers from our birds (5 hens, 4 ducks and 2 geese) that were floating around our garden and wove odds and ends of wool, ribbons and threads through supple twigs pruned from our hazelnut, lilac and grapevines. I have a collection of single well-loved earrings that I had kept over  the years “just in case” and lots of pretty beads of all shapes and sizes to give the webs extra positive energy too. We put together a little kit so that we could even make them on long car journeys and on camp sites! By the end of the summer we had made at least 20! We have them dotted around the house and we gave lots away, but these as-yet-homeless or unfinished ones are still hanging in my bedroom…

A new home for my dream works

I am so thrilled that these works – inspired by my dreams of a happy future and hopes for a kinder world – have found their rightful place at the new premises of AncrAges association. AncrAges is an amazing group of people, who have been helping the needy in the Annemasse area for years, no matter their backgrounds or age. They are also passionate about sustainability and creativity, so they are the perfect group for us to help out whenever we can.

Welcome to AncrAges! Peace, love, equality, freedom, friendship, solidarity and empathy will greet you at the door.

A spectacular outlook

A wedding gift for my cousin Michael and his lovely bride Jane, inspired by the view from their new home in Houston, Texas. Photos show stage one (in our messy attic workshop) and stage two (on the bed at the wedding venue, about to be wrapped up) and illustrate that dilemma of not always knowing if the painting is finished yet or not!

 

How deep is your love?

Another soul-searching response to the refugee crisis. How far would I be prepared to go to help another human being? IMG_8900IMG_1288IMG_1255

IMG_1025

This piece attracted a lot of curious children at the Etrembières and Ville la Grand exhibitions. Many of them felt the urge to reach in and rescue the little people, which I found very touching.

IMG_8699

 

 

 

Ville la Grand Foire au Bouilli October 2016

Every year Ville la Grand holds the Foire au Bouilli and artists, young and old, participate in a themed art competition, organised by the Villamagna art gallery. This year the theme was “la mer” – the sea… so most of the art works this year were beautiful homages to the ocean. However, when I thought of the sea, I couldn’t disassociate it from the daily images of thousands of refugees desperately trying to get to safety across the water. In french, “la mer” is also a homonym for “la mère” – mother. This connection was very important to me and heightened the intensity of the creative experience as I made my Save Our Souls piece. I imagined a mother comforting her child, other children leaving their parents behind in a place of danger, another risking the crossing to rejoin a mother…These texts surround the three canvases that hang on the blue pallet:

Mer, prends soin de moi. (Sea, take care of me.)

Mère, prends soin de moi. (Mother, take care of me.)

Mer, prends soin de moi. (Sea, take care of me.)

Mer, prends soin de ma mère. (Sea, take care of my mother.)

Traverser la mer pour retrouver ma mère. (Cross the sea to find my mother.)

Traverser la mer pour retrouver mon père. (Cross the sea to find my father.)

Quitter ma mère pour traverser la mer. (Leave my mother to cross the sea.)

Mère, prends soin de toi. (Mother, take care of yourself.)

Mer, prends soin de ma mère et de moi. (Sea, take care of my mother and me.)

Mer, prends soin de moi. (Sea, take care of me.)

The following three are all lullabies – arabic, french and scottish:

Nami Nami de Marcel Khalife

نامي نامي يا صغيري
تانغفى عا لحاصيري
نامي عالعتيمي تا تنزاح الغيمي
ويصير عنا ضو كبير
يضوي عا كل الجيري
بكرة بيك جاي
حامل غلت الليمون
بيجبلك تنورة وشال
تاتدفي في كانون
يا زغطورة الحندقة
شعرك أسود ومنقى
واللي حبك بيبوسك
والبغضك شو بيترقى

Le Bateau Blanc de Sacha Distel

Viens je t’emmène sur l’océan
Viens je t’emmène au gré du vent
Vers la lumière du soleil levant
Viens je t’emmène sur mon bateau blanc
– La vie est belle profitons-en
Plus de querelles plus de tourment
A quoi ça sert de se tuer
Et de faire toutes ces guerres, de dévaster ?
– La vie est courte, profitons-en
Pour faire la route vers l’océan
Sans un détour sans hésiter
Et nous voguerons toujours vers l’amitié !
– La vie est douce, profitons-en
Le vent nous pousse dans les haubans
Prends-moi la main, prends moi le coeur,
Nous n’attendrons pas demain pour le bonheur !

Speed Bonnie Boat  Chanson folklorique écossaise

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that’s born to be King
Over the sea to Skye.

Loud the winds howl, loud the waves roar,
Thunderclouds rend the air;
Baffled, our foes stand by the shore,
Follow they will not dare.

Though the waves leap, soft shall ye sleep,
Ocean’s a royal bed.
Rocked in the deep, Flora will keep
Watch by your weary head

Carry Me Safely Across the Sea

من فضلك الله حمل لي بأمان عبر البحر (Arabic)

Tafadhali , mungu , unichukue salama katika bahari (Swahili)

Please, God, carry me safely across the sea. (Anglais)