Forêt V, 2021
Acrylic, Enamel and Mixed Media on Wooden Panel
Focusing on the highly symbolic theme of the Primary Forest, the artist presents ‘Forêt V’ a mixed media wooden panel, in which she seeks to understand the ambiguous connection between man and nature today. The exotic forest awakens our visceral fears and questions our power of destruction vs protection. It also feeds our need for imagination, escape, freedom and self-discovery. The forest and its remarkable biodiversity are this moving, devouring and fascinating entity which becomes for the artist a metaphor for humanity in all its complexity, with its beauty and greatness, but also ugliness and imperfection.
Driven by retrieved fragments of childhood memories from colourful Peruvian folklore, particularly the vivid traditional Quechua weavings, the artist builds bold and complex luscious flora compositions using a unique layering process of unusual mixed media materials (enamel, ceramic, vitrail) on wooden board. Raised as French with ‘forgotten’ Peruvian origins, she tackles the notion of lost and found identity and invites the viewer to also ‘lose and find himself’ in this forest and question his own connection with nature.
Bénédicte Gimonnet’s ongoing fascination for her natural environment is the very source of her creative process and inspiration. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has been exploring symbolism within the rainforest, delving into the ambiguous connection between man and nature today. Experiencing contradictory feelings and emotions, she questions our power of destruction and protection. The insolent beauty of the primary forest, its complex luxuriance and variety awakens indeed her desire for freedom and imagination, but also her visceral fear of the unknown. The forest becomes for her a metaphor for humanity, infusing each tree and plant with a consciousness, imbuing them with human feelings and thoughts.
To build her forest and complex flora compositions, the artist uses a layering process of mixed media materials, including enamel, ceramic, vitrail paint, on wood or aluminum panels. Her strong psychedelic-inspired palette comes from fragments of her childhood memories of the colourful Peruvian folklore, particularly the vivid traditional Quechua weavings. Raised as French with 'forgotten' Peruvian origins, this pandemic time encouraged the artist to address her lost and found mixed identity, linking her origins to the magnificence of nature.
Bénédicte Gimonnet was born in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She graduated in Fine Art Painting from the Wimbledon College of Arts (UAL) and undertook a number of projects in Europe and United States. She lives and works in the UAE since 2009: she is a member of Emirates Fine Art Society and she teaches painting, drawing and History of Art. Her work has been showcased in numerous exhibitions in the UAE -Sharjah Art Museum, Salwa Zeidan Gallery, UAE Ministry of Culture, French Institute- and her paintings belong to private and corporate collections across the world and the Women's Museum in Dubai.