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

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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.

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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)

Love and Solidarity from Switzerland to Nepal

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My dear friend Becci used to live in Kathmandu and is now head of an Early Years international school in Geneva. Of course, as soon as news reached us of the terrible earthquake of 25th April 2015 and the aftershocks that followed, Becci wanted to involve her school community in the relief effort. In the space of a couple of weeks, she managed to orchestrate a vibrant Nepali-style Ban Bhoj or pot-luck picnic and festival with childrens’ art work for sale, henna hand painting, face painting, a book and toy sale, tombola, raffle, bubble blowing, traditional music and beautiful Nepal dancing. I contributed this painting I made for the occasion: A Monal bird, the national bird of Nepal, flying over Everest and the words “Love and Solidarity from Switzerland to Nepal” written in Nepali. I had a Nepal festival-goer check it and it is correctly translated! What a relief!) It raised a nice little sum in a silent auction at the festival. All the proceeds will go straight to First Steps Himalaya, a grass-roots educational charity working with rural communities, which have been some of the worst affected by the disaster.

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March marched by at such a pace!

What a month March has been! I have been so busy at school with my “We LOVE Art” group making the set for “Aladdin” and props for the “Around the World” gymnastics, cheerleading and martial arts show, co-organising an international students theatre festival, staging mini-Shakespeare plays and drama club shows, weaving CDs for the Sierra Leone primary school fundraiser… plus the vernissage of my group exhibition at the Villamagna art gallery, which then just sort of hummed along in the background all month, thankfully taken care of by Mireille Desgeorges, dynamic powerhouse of a president and the rest of the Villamagna association. Mireille and I invited Django’s CE2 class along to see the exhibition and subsequently create their own works of art in class, inspired by sketches they had made of their favourite artworks. I loved to watch their gazes focus intently as they entered each new room. They were so engaged and respectful. Such a worthwhile excursion, now to be regularly repeated, since the gallery will now be opening specifically for school groups on Fridays!

Oh, and I’m delighted to say that these two lovely ladies have found a new home;-)

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