Published on 2022-05-16
After having created in 2020, for the first time in France, a 600m2 fresco covering the entire vault of the Sainte-Madeleine church in Châtelaillon-Plage, Amaury Dubois renews the feat in the Saint-Pierre church in Calais. With this second monumental work, Amaury Dubois confirms his status as a renowned artist and, at the same time, his place in the very closed circle of artists who have produced such works alongside Picasso or Matisse.
Making the church lively and welcoming
It was following a survey of the faithfuls that the idea began to germinate in the mind of Father Pierre Poidevin. « We asked our parishioners what their dream church would look like. The answer was clear: a more welcoming church. » In parallel to this survey, the Calais street art festival. The name of Amaury Dubois came naturally: his shimmering colours and generous curves at the entrance of the church would be the right way to invite passers-by to come inside.
A celestial vault, connection between the real and the spiritual
At Saint-Pierre de Calais, Amaury Dubois focused on the narthex: the intermediate space between the forecourt and the nave, the place of transition and passage between the outside and the inside of the church, between the profane and the spiritual worlds.
Playing with the lights, crossing the stained glass windows and the curves of the hall’s architecture, the artist’s coloured and luminous curves take the spectator irresistibly towards the sky, where a meeting point appears. The white light emanating from the church joins the multitude of colours of the outside world and gives a glimpse of a path. At this point, one leaves behind the emotions of everyday life, represented by the colours, and moves towards a pure white light, as an invitation to refocus on oneself. The narthex appears as a door to another, more peaceful state, a welcome break from the madness of everyday life.
« When you walk through the door of a church, whether you are a believer or not, you are always looking for something. I wanted to symbolise the change of state, the metamorphosis that takes place when you enter this monument, while remaining accessible to everyone. It was important for me to remain in the abstract, so that everyone can feel things. The aim of my work is to allow everyone’s mind to reflect and enjoy. »
Two weeks of intense creation
The creation of this fresco lasted 15 days. The artist, immersed in the heart of his work, painted tirelessly, meticulously, at a rate of 11 hours per day, to translate his vision of the celestial vault through his curves and luminous colours. After a preparatory work of sketches in his studio to create 10 stencils, Amaury Dubois painted the whole fresco by hand before finalising his work with a spray can, creating striking effects of shadows and depth. It took about fifty cans to complete his work. An experience from which the artist has grown: « I always feel so amazed when I see the work take shape under my brushes, after having imagined and refined it in my mind, then on sketches. Painting such frescoes, especially in places as symbolic as churches, is an incomparable experience that I hope to have the chance to relive » concludes Amaury Dubois, as an invitation.