INTRODUCTION TO ‘’CROSSROADS’’ ONLINE EXHIBITION:
"Though a literal definition of crossroads might be something like "the point where two roads meet," it is more often used in a figurative way, to mean a situation that requires some important choice be made. The exhibition will appear as a storytelling between monochromatic characters and roads taken. Choices to be made, life path...Why does one chooses a subject (a road), how to relate to it in terms of inspiration and how does this one affect the souls work, one's path?"
Elodie depicts visions of her life journal, memories of places, people, objects, events, in her own way. Her China ink works and photography are often first versions of later paintings. Her landscapes and characters reflect her connection (spiritual) to Nature, to the land, and per extension the land of her ancestors, back in France and Poland. (The country where each artwork was created is always specified). There is also an intentionally naive approach of the human figure in a sophisticated society. Experimenting with the rejection of conventional representation of people, the wide range of possibilities of interpretation of monochrome paintings is arguably why the monochrome is so engaging to Elodie. White lines create a sort of aura, immortalizing her memory.
''A l'Atelier 2''
’’This painting is basically me working at the atelier, there is a reference to Van Gogh Chairs (I have been fascinated by him since my childhood, when my sister offered me his biography illustrated with his art.) My mind was stormy, only my hand ''knew '' what to do and how to express my doubts. On the walls are the paintings achieved while the blank spaces let room for the new ones’’
''Elevation of a Candle'' (Poland)"
‘’Here I wanted to explore the subject through realism, then through its vertical lines only and the horizontal ones for the third pieces. As for prayers, this process magnified the candle, as it would through a spiritual feeling of elevation’’
’’French Winter Landscape (St Germain d’Esteuil, France)
A memory of a Landscape familiar to Elodie, located in St Germain d'Esteuil, South West France. A special place as this is close to the family home. A path taken many times to reflect and when there was a need of peace... Nature always had an important part in her life, in a spiritual way.
"Mobile Upload 2, Edinburgh, 1890 (Scotland)"
"A memory from Edinburgh, Scotland, where I did live for 5 years. The intriguing red building does exist and is located along the 17th century Royal Mile street. This man appears as character from the past, long and thin dark shadow walking up the street. The first version of it was a photography I took in winter time."
''Ptak above the old city of Prague 1''
Primary drawing for future painting. This character appeared in one of my dreams and I decided I would follow him above the fascinating city of Prague.
’’The Violonist1 (Prague)’’
''The Violonist 1'' (Prague) Belongs to a private collection in Saint-Germain-d'Esteuil, France.
''Two Sisters 1'' (Warsaw, Poland)
Primary drawing for future painting. This drawing is very much related to my rediscovery of my Polish roots and ancestors from Silesia, Poland. I have always felt the duality and complementarity of the two cultures and travelling there was truly an ancestor call.
''A l'Atelier 1 (USA)''
Primary drawing for future painting
’’Man Smoking his Pipe 1 (Prague)’’
"Primary drawing for future painting. Night walk….an allegory to the path of inspiration. If you need to open your mind to alternative approaches and consider diverse options, it is wise to do it when your ‘’mind filter’’ is not so functional… You may just see the unexpected brilliant idea or what you have been missing. In my case, a creative breakthrough would usually happen at evening time"
’’Narkissos 2 (USA)’’
Elodie depicts her own personal vision of Narcissus, inspired by a long narrative poem by Ovid about mythological, legendary, and historical characters and circumstances that undergo a transformation. Influenced by the ancient and mysterious petroglyphs and engraving work, here is a huge prehistoric ivory comb looking at its own reflection, and rooting itself in Earth. An infinite palette of subtle colors and haunting eyes.
What if? Both roads look the same but each one leads to a different path... An echo to ‘’The Road not taken’’, a poem by Robert Frost,
‘’And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim’’,
‘’Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference"
''Route de Vertheuil'', (France)
Here was I standing in the middle of that crossed star, looking at the infinite possibilities though rather haunted by them I could not make a choice. Nature was still, no signs from her...I was soaking in the torments of my thoughts and would choose to continue to the woods. This landscape could be the crossroads of the artistic mind and what choices (roads) would be taken to express an idea.
’’Tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland (Poland)’’
An echo to Elodie's Polish roots. Minimalist with an ethereal feeling. Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region of Poland and Ukraine (16 churches only) were built between the 16th and 19th century by communities of Orthodox and Greek Catholic faiths. Very meditative in its simplicity, unusual dialogue of colours and intriguingpiece of religious architecture. This painting brought me so much inner peace.
’’The BookEater 2 (Edinburgh, Scotland)’’
In memory of a homeless person I knew, who was an intellectual who had lost everything. He would beg for books he could read, so the days were better. It almost seemed that these books were actually food for him, and would feed his mind, and keep him warm. As always the choice of colors soothes the dramatic aspect of the scene.
’’Man Smoking his Pipe 2 (Prague)’’
"The mysteries of a night walk through the old streets of Prague...This painting is actually a second version of a more realistic China ink drawing, here the character smoking his pipe evolves into something cubistic and naïve at the same time. All shades of blue and iridescence remind us the night atmosphere"
''Portrait of K.M''
Portrait of an ''anonymous'' intellectual genius with a tendency to abstraction, deduction and construction. He gave away what he had or pawned it for the poor. He could laugh till the tears rolled down his cheeks...But was feared for his sarcasm. He hated all forms of ethnic and national particularism. I wanted this strong character to be iconic, with simple lines, two faces in one, ready to tell us our truths.
''The Book Eater 1''
Primary drawing for future painting.
''The infinite Stairs 1''
Primary drawing for future painting. Infinite stairs have often been a recurrent dream of mine as a child. It seems that in psychology, the meaning of those dreams would be a metaphor of your hopesand your ability to face up to challenges in your life. More generally, stairs are believed to be indicative of the bridge between different states of being. Going up suggests you are developing…Soul work.
’’Underground 2 (Poland)’’
What is the story about this chthonian painting… ‘’We were all miners in our Polish side of the family. My Grandfather Stanislas was a coal miner. All my grand uncles were, my great grand father Valek was. These are miner's hands, but we were all artists, I suppose…All talented with creating things, sewing, working leather, painting, drawing, playing music to soothe a hard life’’. In mythology, the Taurus is a creature from the depths of Earth. In this painting he is holding in his massive hands a piece of coal and his working tool. This is how Elodie pictured her ancestor, as a model of strength and courage.
’’The Violinist2 (Prague)’’
...In memory of a musician friend and beautiful Hungarian music that I do love so much. The reds and white connect me to my Eastern European Polish roots. Music is extremely important to me and always plays its role during my creative process.
All curations by Elodie Richards