French May > the spirit of life
The spirit of life

Modern and Contemporary Art

Véronique Desjonquères’ biography

I have always been passionate about drawing and languages. Colour and harmonies of colour appeal to me. Painting fills me with joy and soothes me.
After 8 years of legal practice working as a lawyer with an English law firm, painting found its way back into my life. With our four and, later, five children, I accompanied my husband on his postings to Singapore and Madrid
During my years in Singapore, I was fascinated by my travels in the East, the exoticism, the faces, the light on the luxuriant vegetation, the energy… My life in Madrid was a revelation on many fronts. I discovered the charm of Spain, the light, the exuberance of the people, the festive spirit, the contrasts, the old ladies in the rural areas, the sun drenched patios, the play of light on simple objects, typical balmy weather sunlight effects.

Back in Paris, I studied arts during 5 years at École d’art plastique Martenot.

In 2010, we once again succumbed to the seductive lure of expatriate life. This time, our destination was Mumbai, in India. It stirred deep emotions in me and inspired a creative outpouring. In Mumbai, the senses are in a state of constant stimulation. I was instantly filled with the desire to recount my experience of Mumbai, the city, the people, the slums, life…

Most of my paintings are of people. Yet, one of my favourite works is a painting of Dharavi, Mumbai’s biggest slum. Energy, vitality, transparency, truth, humanity, openness to others, empathy, loyalty, communication and trust, these are the words that best describe what I wish to infuse into my paintings. The people I paint or photograph are the ‘common’ people of this world – old men, women, children and, in India, the poorest. I am moved by their faces, which bear the traces of their history, the ties that unite them, their vision, their attitudes, their poverty, the beauty that emanates from within them despite the difficult lives they lead, beauty that transcends the ugliness of poverty, dirt, injustice and trying living conditions.
I set out to meet the people of the city. They opened up to me, talked to me about their lives, their desires, their fears, their joys, their misfortunes, their children, their dreams…They became my muse, letting me photograph them and allowing me to paint their portraits. These conversations and images have been compiled into a book called “Beautiful because of your Heart- Encounters with Mumbai 2010-2013”.
Materials translate emotions. I painted Dharavi on a wooden plank. I stuck on bits of cardboard and pieces of plastic, of the kind used by the slum dwellers to cover the roofs of their huts, and painted over them. Oils applied with a knife translate the energy and violence of the place while the colours used evoke the turmoil that prevails there. India is not the country of ‘non violence’. Dharavi, where hundreds of thousands of Indians live, is the place where their dreams of prosperity materialize or are extinguished.
It is my hope that my paintings continue to capture the spirit of life… in Hong Kong, my new expat destination, today and elsewhere tomorrow, and that my artistic expression touches people and helps them recognise the divine in themselves. My art constantly endeavours to transcend the petty and the ugly and to reveal the beauty of creation and the nobility of people.

My work is an expression of life, wherever it exists, life transcending darkness at times.

Gaelle Schoebel’s biography

I have always had the need to create. Create through painting, woodworking, clothes designing, sculpting… I am from a family of architects, and thus I have long been exposed and attracted to the multiple possibilities of expressing things in three dimensions.

I studied Arts and Communication and decided to become a teacher. At the same time, I have always preserved a part of my life to be dedicated to arts and creation. Eight years ago, I started using clay as a support for sculpting. I have being exploring shapes and forms, and the study of the human body led me to discover some other disciplines such as yoga and massage, disciplines in which I graduated to become an instructor.
The subject of my recent work has been to capture instants of life, fleeting expressions and moods, and expose their simple beauty through shapes of clay, and sculptures.

Véronique’s blog:

Gaëlle’s blog:

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11 – 16 May 2017
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