Curator and writer DominiqueTruco
Karine Bonneval’s exhibition « L’âme des écorces » (The soul of bark) shows in Poitiers, at the Louise-Michel gallery, a collaborative work in touch with living plants.
For the past 8 months, this project has been underway with the help of the Ecole de l'ADN Nouvelle Aquitaine, the Marcel-Pagnol nursery school and their teachers, Caroline Charré and Carmen Bouquet, the leisure centre of the ferme des Prés Mignons and the writing workshop in Cap-Sud, the Marie-Noël residence, the inhabitants of the district, the Mendès France area, the green spaces of the City of Poitiers, the Landscape branch of the Conservatoire régional d'espaces naturels de Poitou-Charentes, and Broutilles, a farmer of organic sprouted plants.
This project is in line with Bellejouanne's new landscaping, which, with its aromatic garden and fruit plantations, is now helping to renew the lives of the inhabitants.
Bellejouanne's botanical map, Botanical portraits, Communauty Coalescence (the constellation of Petri dishes), Our DNA, these new works created in Poitiers by Karine Bonneval result from relevant collaborations between all these actors in this natural and cultural landscape re-dressing our eyes, our senses to find this innate connection with nature.
For two decades, Karine Bonneval, from La Rochelle, has focused her artistic research on the relationships that we humans have with living plants and animals.
Its territories of investigation open up the essential awareness of the interdependence of living things in their diversity on which the quality of our environment, and therefore of our lives, depends.
In 1994, while studying at the Ecole supérieure d'art décoratif de Strasbourg, at the botanical garden, she worked with a botanist and shared her thoughts with a student in genetics.
In 2000, his first foray into the rainforest of French Guiana was decisive.
Since the creation in 2014 of the Diagonale de Saclay - a programme to support research projects between scientists and artists linking science and society, implemented by the University of Paris Sud - the artist has carried out extensive research with scientists, microbiologists, ethologists, pedologists, bio-acousticians, etc., in France and abroad.
For Karine Bonneval, these fertile collaborations, nourished by questions about the life of plants, in what she has of the unexpected, of the infinitely small and the infinitely large, "aim above all to show the constant but invisible relationships that we have in everyday life with the very living thing in which we live".
The children of the Marcel-Pagnol nursery school have cultivated this invisible living thing with the DNA school, mixing in petri dishes the micro-organisms with their own hands and those of the bark of the trees in their schoolyard.
From now on, as Karine Bonneval experienced with eco-physiologist Claire Damesin and microbiologist Ludwig Jardillier, Marcel-Pagnol's children now know that trees are living beings inhabited by other living beings and that they breathe!
From the exchanges between Karine Bonneval and Laurence Héchard of the Ecole de l'ADN Nouvelle-Aquitaine was born Our DNA, crossing human DNA and DNA from fruits and vegetables, cherries, strawberries, apricots, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, raspberries...
In order to get to know the vegetation of the neighbourhood's streets and gardens better, the artist created the Botanical Map of Bellejouanne. It has mobilized more than a hundred children and adults from the neighbourhood based on the natural herbarium model. This consisted in taking the imprint of a leaf pressed on a leaf by inking, as practiced by the naturalist Aimé Bonpland in the 19th century. Karine Bonneval presents these prints in the form of cellular alveolar interweaving by volume.
From a sculpture of a tree covered with imaginary mushrooms emerge sound from Botanical Portraits. Remembrance of each one with a plant, a tree, a vegetal taste.....
With bio-acoustician Fanny Rybak, a bird specialist, and the laboratory of the Freie Universität Berlin, the Rillig Group studying soils and fungi, Karine Bonneval has undertaken to listen to the earth. At Galerie Louise-Michel, it is the life of invertebrates, indicators of good health or not of a soil, that the artist returns to us.
From ceramic mouths planted in 6 m3 of soil, the sounds of five different biotopes escape: the Berlin Botanical Garden, the Rillig Group Garden, the compost from the artist's garden, an industrially cultivated field and a garden in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Finally, a sound walk and a sensitive reading of the landscapes of Bellejouanne with Charlotte Sauvion, head of the Landscape Pole at the City of Poitiers, and Jean-Philippe Minier, head of the Landscape Antenna at the Conservatoire régional d'espaces naturels de Poitou-Charentes, completed this web of creative relationships on Saturday 29 September.
Because "naming is making people exist", Karine Bonneval's ultimate work in the district involves botanical labelling of the Bellejouanne aromatic and fruit garden with the help of Florence Morisot so that the inhabitants can appropriate the plants and uses of this urban garden.