MH Architectes

Medusas and Birds

  • Project manager: Martin Herbert
  • Location: Private home - Paris 5e
  • Project: Fresco
  • Surface area: 10 sqm
  • Delivery: 2020

I’m mesmerised (médusée, in French the word jellyfish is used to describe being transfixed)… fascinated by this monumental fresco that stands at 6 meters tall ! Revelation, equivocal at first sight to the intertwining of two opposing worlds, air and water, yet these complementary worlds create life together… Everything is in movement, close to a dream state, making its way towards an invisible part of the Universe… The choice of materials, (enamel, cameo glass, mother-of-pearl tesserae, copper, bronze) participate in the kinetic dynamic each taking a role to reveal lavish representations underlined by vivacious and subtle colours chosen by the artist. Depending on the animal depicted : evanescent jellyfish with transparent sails, multicoloured island birds whose rival colours compete… They are both versatile elements made of air and water at the same time, necessary to one another… An improbable and exhilarating universe in which different animal species meet and float around each other in concert…! This mystery of life is daring and full of sensuality, and that is what the mosaic artist Mathilde Jonquière wishes to sublime ! The slowness of the jellyfish whose pulses we can imagine, opposes the intensity of fluttering of the birds’ wings… each showing off each other’s existence by stating their differences, and also with their commun search for survival ! Out of this fresco floats a rare intensity, the result of a troubling energy that fascinates the spectator, and is without a doubt the materialised energy of the artist herself…

The light of the fresco that projects onto the spectator, gives them the impresson they are being pulled in, between dream and reality, a strange magic comes out of the scene into their mesmerised eyes… Melting into this unsuspected but harmonious world where species cohabite is a difficult temptation to repress… However a mystery remains : wouldn’t diving into this Lewis Carroll-like world be in effect to transform into Alice discovering a space, behind the looking glass, a surreal experience concocted by the artist? To dare this metaphor, a kind of regression likened to primitive sensations of a foetus in it’s maternal amniotic fluid, the first experience of life that happens in the womb, to finally be born and leave the nest… Since this time, identifying with each one of these creatures, means accessing a feeling of freeing weightlessness, in a poetic space/time ! Thanks to her daring piece, Mathilde Jonquière gives us this opportunity to escape for a moment from the weight of the material constraints, a precious relief to access an « out of time » liberation… The magic of this fresco lies in its lavish celebration of life!

Etty Buzyn, Psychanalyste, 2020.

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