Berkanan is the proto-Germanic rune for Birch.
The first tree in the Celtic calendar, the birch symbolises birth and renewal. It is the tree that lights up the night, the perfect symbol of the balance between the different forces that oppose each other to make life possible. Its sap and buds can be eaten, and its bark and twigs are used in various crafts around the world. However, when we think of birch today, the first thing we often think of is its pollen, which is among the most allergenic. "Berkanan" is a project co-constructed with Nicolas Visez, an air chemist at LASIRE, the University of Lille, who is studying the atmospheric ageing of allergenic anemophilous (wind-borne) pollen grains. Working with him, the artist has devised pieces and workshops to bring the birch back into the family.
Berkanan is a ceramic birch sap fountain created with the help of Charlotte Poulsen, produced by Allons Voir! A tasting of the fountain's sap was held on the opening weekend, in earthen bowls.
Murmures du bouleau is a practicable sculpture made of wicker, tufted carpet, papier-mâché and soap. It broadcasts the sound of sap recorded on the birch trunk in spring. Soap tears made from birch pollen are the first in an ongoing series about making a new family with the tree's allergenic pollen. Pollen portraits, produced in the LASIRE laboratory, show us a little of their complex composition.
Community coalescence tear-birch pollen is a curtain printed on the encounter - here without allergy - between these two products of humans and birch.
Confocal microscope image taken at the BICeL laboratory, Philosopher gallery production.
The soils portraits were realised during a residency in Finistère with the APte association.