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Pascale Beauchamps’ lyrical sculptures of stone and cement sing songs of ancient geologies and celebrate the sacred elements of water, light and earth. An extraordinary collection of her work from 2009 to the present, Movimento Immobile, is currently on view in an equally extraordinary venue – the Cripta Rasponi e Giardini Pensili Pallazo della Provincia, The Rasponi Crypt and Hanging Gardens at The Palace of the Province, Ravenna, Italy.
The exhibit is the second installment in a brilliant series of four events produced by the Cripta Rasponi entitled “Mosaici Contemporanie in Antichi Contesti” or Contemporary Mosaics in Ancient Contexts. Four mosaic artists have been invited to show work inspired by the setting “so as to establish a continuous dialog between the ancient mosaic and the artistic expressions of our days.” In addition, each of the artists is to create a special work devoted to the theme The Four Seasons which will become part of a permanent installation at the Complex of San Nicolo in Ravenna.
Thanks to our friend, Ravenna-based photographer Rosetta Berardi, we are able to view Movimento Immobile just as a visitor to the Cripta Rasponi on a warm Spring day in May would.
Pascale Beauchamps has lived and worked in Brittany for over 30 years. A sculptor and mosaicist, she works almost exclusively in cement and stone. She specializes in one kind of stone in particular: the pebble. – From the brochure for Movimento Immobile
Season of Sun and Wind, Beauchamp’s interpretation of Spring, is destined to become part of the Museum of Ravenna’s permanent collection. It is a stunning work that we could study for hours – preferably out of doors where the passing of time would bring continuous new discoveries.
Her work examines the ambiguity of reality and reconciles artifice with nature: mineral landscapes reconstituted by pebbles taken straight from nature and embedded in cement. Light is fragmented by the rippling textures of the pebbles and their monochrome nuances can be misleading: the cement becomes stone, the pebbles become light.
For this exhibition, Beauchamps enlists the participation of water and glass in her geological landscapes, pushing the ambiguity even further. Light is the leading protagonist, insinuating itself in the gaps between pebbles, giving vibrancy to the grooves in the cement, setting off the contrasts between white and black pebbles, sliding over black water and opaline glass.
In Interior Light, we can see Beauchamp’s genius at exploring ambiguity. Under her deft hand, stone appears light as a feather – something easily born upon the wind – as the pebbles swirl at her command. At the same time, the artist creates rivers of darkness within those swirls as sunlight touches the stones. The definitions of “light” as weight and “light” as illumination are put to question in an elegantly concise way.
Beauchamps has arranged her Organs, with their shaggy texture and stolid shape, in groups of up to 52 in various venues.
Beauchamp’s Crystals glow from within through the artist’s use of shape and color.
These three Sediments were originally part of Beauchamps’ Sacred Concrete exhibit at Saint Quentin Pottery in 2007
In Foldings, we see Beauchamp incorporating the element that she often refers to in glass and stone – water. The element of reflection is introduced and we can imagine that various light treatments to amplify the shapes and direct the eye would create gorgeous new effects.
Pascale Beauchamps is one of contemporary mosaic’s brightest lights and this exhibit in Ravenna is a wonderful marriage of her brilliance and an extraordinary venue. La Cripta will host an exhibit by Valeria Ercolani beginning June 4th (Summer) and Felice Nittolo beginning September 3 (Fall)
We are also excited to learn that Beachamps will be showing with the Italian collective, CaCO3 in Paray-le-Monial, France this July.
Again, we are indebted to Rosetta Berardi for sharing her photos with us. What a delight it is to see these works as they are meant to be seen within the context of the Cripta Rasponi. Ms. Berardi is currently exhibiting “Behind the Face”, a series of portraits exploring the history and allure of the veil. See Resources below.
Enjoy – Nancie