The exhibition of Laurence Le Constant at the gallery Géraldine Banier celebrates a singular rite. The works exposed are the instruments of a ceremony invoking ancestors and performing the childhood memories of the artist.
Hobbyhorse, tree trunk in totem, strange animals, plates in fine earthenware (named "iron earth ") with birds ornaments ... Many objects from which the magic leads to recollections, like "Proust’s madeleines". Nature is ever-present, revisited, comforting. The evocation of the game resurrects the space of garden and family house.
The human makes its appearance in another way, in the form of bones, recovered by colored and patterned feathers. Because the skulls of Laurence Le Constant are not really Vanity: they surely remind us the fragility of existence, but at first, they form specific tutelary figures. Moreover, the young artist talks about them as "portraits", and baptizes them in tribute to close or distant women, who matter for her: Colombe, Tina, Maria, Astrid... Finally, the name is the last splendour of the memory.
The large variety of feathers employed to cover the heads gives to each an identity and a personality. Neither wears the same expression or the same hairstyle, smile or frowned eyebrows, ringlets or pikes raised on the summit of the scalp. The colours and the mottled, zebra-striped, marbled and star-spangled patterns also evoke tribal tattoos and a cosmogony with a complex symbolism.
Women have an essential place in the work and the life of Laurence Le Constant, raised by her grandmother, supported by her aunts. Her works refer to a matriarchal conception of society: even in darkness, women govern and even if their power to give birth is often degraded by men. This still leaves to the feminine sex the care to raise the future generations (in every sense of the word), key of History and changes.
It is also a woman who introduced Laurence to the art of feather's work, while she worked in an embroidery workshop at Lunéville. During break times, the craftswoman passed on this practically disappeared know-how to her. A technique which requires many patience and precision, like meditation: concentration and repetition make the process introspective.
Oblivion has no place here. Oblivion is the definitive death. Finally, the artist fights disappearance at several levels: firstly, by using an increasingly rare technique; then, by protecting the memory of places and loved ones by creation itself. The world is a circle which doesn’t stop turning, life and death mutually reminding each other. The Russian writer Iouri Olecha writed in his diary: "maybe the fear of death is only the memory of the fear of birth "...