When Art is Life and Life is Art
Meeting Nicole Chevrier at SAFAA
Nicole Chevrier is a French artist who used to work at the University of Lyon, Saint Etienne. She has been a member in the committee of competition for professors, the President of Modern Art Association, has had a series of exhibitions and art projects.
At present she lives in a French village which has 300 inhabitants. She also travels which is combined with actualization of different interesting art projects. The meeting held at SAFAA the previous Friday covered the above-mentioned themes. She told how she carried out a project concerning clothes and made a year trip in different eastern countries (Romania, Ukraine, Mongolia, Russia).The idea of the project was that people of different ethnicity wore her clothes and manifested it through exhibition.
The project in Armenia concerns sheep and shepherds.
In march 2021, nearly 300 sheep were donated to Armenia from the place where she lives (in the mountains in the south of France) and it seemed to her it was the opportunity for an art event which fitted with her work: create links between cattle breeders who may not work the same way in the same environment but may have a similar preoccupation (animal’s care).
“As you may dream about Paris, we likewise dream of Caucasus”, she says.
The sheep brought from France have been located in three main places; in Ijevan, Noyemberyan and Gyumri. Nicole Chevrier has so far managed to visit only Ijevan, meet the farmers, talk to them, familiarize with their work, take some photos, see and feel the difficulties and advantages of the profession. At the end of her journey she thinks about organizing an exhibition than will bring together French and Armenian artists around a joint project. It was important to bear in mind that the project wasn’t a documentary or a journalistic but rather an artistic one. Due to the pandemics the participants and site visits to the farms can be limited to one or two participants but still she was to travel there herself and then gather the relevant participants based on their interest. The impression from farms and sheep should then be put on canvases in a form of a painting, design work, graphic work, etc. even recycled materials can be used. The financial matters of travel and working process, materials etc., were on the participants. Nicole Chevrier also noted that the project was neither political nor ecological. It was purely artistic, aesthetic as far as art already encompasses all the layers.
As a successful completion of the project an exhibition will be held in France showing the works of both Armenian and French artists.
Translated by Naira Stepanyan