behind the scenes
The approach: Catherine Thiry confides in us.
She reveals her inner self allowing us to infiltrate and share her personal awareness.
We are all guided and motivated, consciously or otherwise, by a host of human traits : desires, moods, encounters, doubts, fears, impulses and Catherine expresses her feelings through her art by using volume and colour to bring us visible and tangible aids.
When she paints, an intellectual approach is always present. She mentally plans every detail and transfers her feelings to canvas which becomes an ever changing process. From the moment of the first brush stroke up to the signing off of the tableau, both her continued contemplation and the act of painting influence the end effect. The results speak for themselves.
When I first met her, we played at guessing what she was trying to express through her work and amazingly our interpretations would always be the same. I could immediately identify what had influenced each piece of work and decided to explore in more depth her personality and her art. When Catherine talks openly, there is a complete lack of self-importance. It is more to do with attitude, a way of thinking.
Catherine sculpte et peint. Elle sculpte comme elle peint et fait le chemin inverse de l’œil à la main. Il faut laisser ses éclats de vie, quasi monochromes sur toile, brutalement écaillés en bronze, surgir d’elle et vous envahir l’œil, le cœur et la main qui s’avance pour toucher la caresse crûe qu’elle leur a donnée à coups de brosse, à coups de doigts, à coups de poings parfois.
An artistic discipline requires a combination of technical mastery, powers of observation, giving and receiving. After twenty years with her brushes and paints, Catherine moved on to sculpture, an interest she had nurtured for many years. She has now been creating and producing bronzes since 2004. Pam, a close friend, was very enthusiastic upon seeing her first attempts and convinced Catherine to cast her statues in bronze. This idea led to her to Luc Harzé who later became Catherine’s bronze caster.
She explains that the process for her sculptures is different. Here it is the hands that take control. I asked her if it was because the act was more physical. She refused this idea saying simply that when she is working on a sculpture there comes a moment when she “connects”, when reflection ceases giving way to the physical act when her sensitivity and freedom of expression take over, so much so that she does not always master the flow.
She told me that she is not always able to honour a piece which has been commissioned because the clay she is modelling takes her in another direction. Be that as it may, when we understand the energy that drives her, we are not surprised to discover in her works, the sense of balance which characterises her, i.e. determination and strong emotions.