Adeline in the BBK's studio, Berlin. Photo : Chloé Desnoyers
Adeline Meilliez, Fleur de Peau
“For ages there have been places where what is seen is inside: a cell, a sacristy, a crypt, a church, a theatre, a study, or a print room.”
The Fold, Leibniz and the Baroque – Gilles Deleuze
As you contemplate the work of Adeline Meilliez, something indelible imprints itself on your skin. An elusive sensation, a touch that leaves a powerful trace. Fragility should never be taken lightly.
At the core of her story is the journey. Her first forays into creation blend painting and photography, filling traveller’s notebooks that set the tone for her work. She embarks into new territories, from Africa to India, through the Middle East and New York, then Berlin, where she has lived for the last ten years. Her studies in illustration at HEAR (Haute École des Arts du Rhin) in Strasbourg, followed by her time at the Textile Design atelier of the École des Beaux-Arts in Mulhouse, quickly led her to explore silkscreen printing. She learned the importance of every stage of this industrial process, each step an opportunity for her to reappropriate the medium, formats, materials, colours, objects, guided by her imagination and skill.
The use of fabric leads to the question of femininity and its representation. The artist questions and distorts its codes. She insolates lace clothing, and uses makeup – lipstick or blusher – as ink, pushing the limits imposed upon her. She sets up a patient dialogue with her brazen works of art. Everything is to be invented, experimented, built. Medium and format become tangible affirmations of her impressions.
The traditional and decorative floral motifs at the heart of her work become a declaration of plasticism, in search of meaning. The fleeting and the fragile enter a state of free association with a vibrant explosion of colours. Fluorescent tones blend with bright, darker or softer hues, and superimposition plays with subtle and formal constructions. In her latest creations, ancient photographic portraits highlight notions of identity, and transparency and absence are brought to light by the intensity of colour. Themes of femininity, botany and family resonate with and shed light on one another. The work of art created by the beauty of a gesture that is ample, experiential, almost ritualistic, paints a path to a pictorial identity that maps the territory of rebirth, maturity, and blossoming.
Valérie Bisson, Strasbourg, March 21, 2021.