Arpaïs Du Bois
faire fleurir l’ombre, 2022
Mixed media on paper, edition unique
25 x 19 cm
[from the pressrelease]
Du Bois has a daily drawing practice. She works incessantly, compulsively, and it is important for her to show that abundance of work. Also in the case of this exhibition, in which all works reinforce and balance each other. The works on paper have clearly become more layered, both content related as in terms of texture and materiality. Du Bois shows her audience every nuance of her thinking process and several facets of a reality are given a place; she questions, denies, hopes, smiles. And there is also room for some serious introspection.
In Du Bois’ characteristic manner, the tone of the title is extended in the individual works on view. Look for example at ‘ambiance florale fanée’; a state of the world. In a critical description, which is typical for her oeuvre, Du Bois refers to a floral atmosphere in which the flowers, however, have withered. By constantly repeating, reworking and repainting vegetal motifs, they have evolved into abstracted forms from which the beauty, poetry and complexity of nature have disappeared. In ‘subversifs aux heures creuses’ – being subversive in your free time, when it suits you – Du Bois raises the question of individual and collective responsibility.
Although the message is often heavy, Du Bois’s soft colour palette and shapes and her exquisite play with the French language, also leave room for lightness, beauty, compassion and empathic humour. Because – in absence of direct means and actions to really transform the world into a livable place for people, animals and plants in the long term – what do we do or can we do other than ‘bricoler son monde’ and ‘bégayer la détresse’? We will ‘fatiguer l’enfer’ and we will continue to work, cure, pay attention, care for and make better. As good as we can. Or not.