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Originals - Athena Series

In 2021, I undertook new research that I called "The Athena Series." In this new series, I explore the patterns of plane tree bark (trees present in Shanghai as well as in the south of France where I come from). The plane tree has a bark that is renewed according to the seasons, the "scales" fall, and leave traces on the surface of its trunk. As a child, I loved picking them up, and I started doing it again in Shanghai during my walks through the streets of the former French concession. Fascinated by these shapes and the particularity of plane trees, I began a reflection on the very idea of bark, regeneration and thus vulnerability. I wondered what the fragility of the individual and mine in particular is. I realized how similar we are to these trees: we protect ourselves from the "outside" by building walls in the hope of not being hurt. But our attempts are often futile, more of the order of illusion than reality, and demonstrate how fragile we are.

This is how I wanted to create a series of works reflecting this vulnerability. I first used the shapes to draw them, but very quickly the very idea of shells, shields and armor surfaced. It is therefore no coincidence that I gave it the title of "The Athena Series". It is also important to mention that my interest in the symbolism of the goddess Athena is not new, since I wrote a doctoral research project on the representation of Athena during my university studies.

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