First moment  (2021/2022)

"I noticed that childhood is at first a very special light. It is a world of sensations and it seems allergic to thinking. Memory is a bank of deposits and loans. Childhood library is huge", Danny Lafferrière, Journal d'un écrivain en pyjama, 2013

 

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I have been thinking to explore childhood and memory issue for a long time but recent and successive lockdowns we experienced since March 2020 has increased this first-reflection. As travels become more restricted, I am travelling in my memory. Calling the “first moment”, precisely the very first remembrance of its own childhood, is to visit the “big attic“ and live again a world of sensations, sraw and organic emotions ( remembering of a smell, a voice, an atmosphere or a special light). This autobiographical process is not intellectual, it is very instinctive.

Neurosciences bring up today « childhood amnesia” : early childhood remembrances often come after age of 3 years old for a human being. After that age, « flashes of consciousness » are coming back. Why this specific remembering and not an other one ? This is the big mystery of episodic and selective memory….Creating is remembering and relive first impressions that touched us, places, landscapes and loved ones. This is this primary, primitive and visceral approach that I feel like developing in this painting serie. To find again the freshness, the energy and the flasbbacks of first life moments.
First, I dove in my personal biography. Then, I interviewed family and friends and listened to authors, musicians or people biographies : I discovered these introspections amazing and thought that these multiple and rich experiences should be shared. This memory work is also a plastic challenge : how to translate on an oil and plane surface an emotional experience rather than a thinking ?
My remembrances came quite late at the age of 7-8 years old and are very linked to happy time in Brittany during summer holidays. In “Lilia” oil painting, I wished to represent the infinite and the plenitude. At the beginning came wonderment. Spaces, the beauty of wild nature, tides and transparency of light – so special in North Finistère- are appearing like a dream. Children are lilliputians in this vast area, drunk of outside. Olfactory sense is not cheating : volatile fragances of earth, algas and ferns were the first to seize me and get me back in childhood country instantly. Aromatic fern triggered drunkenness and vitality. It brought irrepressible freedom feelings. This emotion is still intact today.
“ A life without memory would not be a life. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling and even our action. Without it, we are nothing”. Luis Buñuel (My last breath, 1982).