Published on 2020-06-30
It is on the seaside in the West of France, just a few kilometers from La Rochelle and more precisely in the church Sainte-Madeleine of Châtelaillon-Plage, that the artist from Lille came to drop his suitcases for two months at the beginning of the year 2020.
At the request of the city, owner of the church and at the initiative of the project as part of the restoration work of the building, Amaury Dubois imagined and designed a work of art respecting both the spiritual dimension of the place, as well as the singular and colourful identity of the seaside resort that is Châtelaillon-Plage.
Usually used to the canvases he covers with his curved and colourful creations, Amaury Dubois took up the challenge of creating a unique and custom-made fresco of 600m², covering the entire vault of the church to its choir, including the stained-glass windows. A real coup for the artist, as his fresco becomes one of the largest works ever created in a church in France!
After Picasso, Matisse and Okuda, it is now Amaury Dubois' turn to mark the interior of a church with a unique contemporary fresco.
In this 19th century church, everything is now about life and movement. As soon as you enter, you are swept away by infinite curves in warm colours, emanating from the choir and spreading along the vault of the building. The ceiling almost seems to be in motion, so bewitching are these shapes. Their undulations, almost aquatic, contain scales of fish, like a reminder of the ocean waiting for us a few meters from the church, but also a return to the symbol of the first Christians and life in abundance. After a few steps, we understand that it is a celestial vault that overhangs us, a vault towards which the light of the Divine tries to create a path, along which its colours of life can extend until it comes to warm the cold of the night. Then begins a real journey to the heart of a world of energies, in which we let ourselves be embarked with pleasure.
After the emotion of the first steps in the church, our gaze is lost in the volutes of colour and is carried to the stained-glass windows, where a flourishing nature is suddenly discovered. The sun's rays, penetrating through each stained-glass window, bloomed a range of life that gradually spreads along the walls. The richness of the details and the illusion of depth given by the use of 5 shades of blue, almost suggest a work of writing on the part of the artist.
For Amaury Dubois, this monumental fresco is to be seen as a living reality. Observe it by imagining that if you come back in 50 years, nature escaping from the stained glass windows will have invaded the walls like a jungle, the curves of white light emanating from the choir will have joined those of the penumbra and the colour will have spread, covering all the vaults of the church and bringing life to the whole building.
One can clearly feel in this church that Amaury Dubois was able, with such a surface, to give full scope to the philosophy of his artistic work: painting life in motion. A true expression for the artist, but also a real challenge!
Indeed, this time he left the canvases on an easel and had to rethink his work to adapt it to the relief and scale of the church, in order to obtain the desired visual effects. After a preparatory sketching work in his studio, he painted the whole fresco by hand, using 5 brushes, before finalizing his work with spray-painting, creating a striking play of shadows and depth. A unique experience for the artist, who for the first time literally found himself overhung by his work of art:
"When I paint, I completely immerse myself in my work. This time the immersion was special. While we are generally facing our support, in a vertical position, I worked here under my "canvas", perched on a scaffolding! The size, the symbolism, the time spent in the church made me feel at times that I was "part" of the work, that I belonged to it…"
With this brand-new work of art, Amaury Dubois now joins the very closed circle of contemporary artists who have realized a church in the World.
His work is to be discovered without further delay!
6 rue de Barbezieux – 17340 Châtelaillon-Plage, France