|A HARLEQUIN’S JOURNEY by Jean Pierre AVONTS-SAINT LAGER||| Print ||
Fabrics, leather, glass
106 x 112 cm
During my younger and tender age, I was about 9 or 10 years old, it was in the fifties, I was living in Carcassonne (south of France), with my parents and my youngest brother. At that time, my mother used to have her dresses made by a woman about sixty called Mrs Rossignol (rossignol is the french word for nightingale). I often went with my mother the days she tried on her new clothes. One day this grandma gave me some pieces of silk and a catalogue with many pictures of beautiful dresses by Dior, Nina Ricci, Elsa Schiaparelli, Mrs Gray, Lanvin and others.
THE GORGON MEDUSA, Fabrics, leather, glass, metal, 102 103 cm
At home I started copying and sewing some of these dresses. Some days later Mrs Rossignol was most astonihed and truly amazed to see my accomplishments. She praised my work and said to my mother :“ How lucky you are ! I am so annoyed my grandson doesn’t like sewing. He is only interested in football !”. She said to me : “ Jean Pierre, you will remember later when you are a big boy that I gave you your first pieces of materials”.
She was right. Since then I have often thought of that funny Mrs Nightingale !
THE JESTER, Fabrics, metal, paper, 100 x 70 cm
Then I travelled a lot on big liners with my parents between France and French African colonies where my father worked as a staff officer. I still remember sounds, colours and pictures of that childhood time. They still feed my imagination in my work today.
AGAINST THE STREAM, Fabrics, leather, 80 x 120 cm
In the seventies, while I was a student at the university of Lyon, I spent two years in Leeds (England-Yorkshire). I taught French and I learnt styling at “Anya Brown school of design” where I got a diploma. Back in Lyon I started my professional life dedicated to creating and making clothes, costumes and sceneries. In 1982 I was offered the opportunity to design leather clothes for Parisian Guy Dray’s shops. I moved to Paris. At the same time I travelled on to work in London, New York, Miami, Amsterdam, Bruxelles. In 1997, I founded a theatre company called “Maquis’Art Theatre”. I wrote several plays and went on making costumes.
THE ELEVATED RAILWAY, Fabrics, paper, plastic, 96 x 132 cm
In 2005 I felt like expressing myself differently with fabrics. I started creating small patterns, essentially masks, fixed on a wooden board. Then I made a series of funny skulls (heads of death). Usually skulls are naturally all the same remaining anonymous. In that series they are disguised, made up and staged to go and play their part somewhere else on another stage. An art critic interested in those creations suggested I gave up wooden boards so that I could work freely.That is how I discovered the world of quilting.
THE ULTIMATE GALLERY, Fabrics, leather, plastic, 133 x 113 cm
The first article about my work was written in August 2007 by Naomi Ichikawa, managing director of the Japanese magazine “Patchwork Quilt Tsushin”, number 139. Since then I have been in more than twenty textile exhibitions but I keep thinking that textile art could be and should be appreciated by a greater audience. This year I was asked to exhibit my quilts with the sculptors of a famous female sculptor. That show took place near Cannes from March 1st to 31st and was successful. Most of people who came there did not know textile art. They were impressed and really interested in discovering something new for them.
SEASONS, Fabrics, 130 x 75 cm
I was recently the only French textile artist selected for Fibermen exhibition (Kherson, Ukraine) dedicated to men and textile art in the world and I have several interesting projects for 2012.
As I have not learnt traditional quilting I feel free of using any different materials (metal, glass, leather, paper, plastic...), but most of my work is made of fabrics.I am trying on to explore its infinite varieties, textures, colors, transparencies and I do use it just as some others use painting, wood or stone to make their intimate world come to life.
I am interested in human nature and all my inspirations are taken from universal and timeless mysteries such as death, solitude, love and vanishing time.
You can see his piece in Fibremen International Exihibtion,Kherson Local Lore Museum,Kherson, Ukraine October 18-29 2011, presented by, "Scythia" Textiles
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