Cécile Daladier: Ceramic Artist
Amber Creswell Bell
| October 4, 2016
Conversations with French artist Cécile Daladier, even via email, are imbued with the kind of magic often gained from a dreamy, escapist piece of narrative. There’s something in the way of her that forces you to take a deep, calming breath and slow the pace of whatever you are doing.
Cécile describes herself as a visual artist, though she also has a background in music and fine arts. In recent years her practice has focused on the creation of ceramic vessels for plants and flowers. She works from her home and atelier in Drôme, southern France – an isolated place where ceramics is traditionally an important craft.
As well as a talented artist, Cécile is also a devoted gardener. Her passion for plants underpins and inspires much of what she creates. Most of my conversations with her pertain, to some extent, as to what is occurring in the garden at that time.
My approach is very intuitive,” she suggests. ” My style relies mostly on the contemplation of nature.”
“My work emphasises the oppositions between fugacity and permanency, botanical and mineral, movement and stillness,” she describes.
While Cécile is influenced by traditional ceramics, modern art and design, it is ultimately the flower that Cécile has in mind that informs the vase – often giving their names to the vessels she creates – such as the Tulipier, Pique-fleurs and the Violettier. An integral consideration in her vases is the water they intend to contain – It’s important to Cécile that the water is visible within the vessel.
The water,” she says, “is the only instrument required to reflect the magic of the sky.
Cécile makes wide, shallow, vases known as as ‘table gardens’ – quite literally ‘a small garden on the table’. Here, the flowers she plucks from her surroundings are designed to sit loosely, whimsically, and without pretension. In this way Cécile consciously shirks the notion of a store bought bouquet – all round and uptight. Instead her pieces allow the flowers to breathe – much like the act of speaking with her encourages in me.
Cécile’s vessels are characters, each with their nuances and characteristics – apertures and holes; pipes and chimneys; shapes and shadows – and they are all incredibly charming! It is this charm, which feels so much like an extension of Cécile, which has led to her work being coveted by flower and ceramic enthusiasts the world over.
All images supplied by Amber Creswell Bell
Cecile’s work is included in a new book Clay – Contemporary Ceramic Artisans written by Amber Creswell Bell (published by Thames & Hudson), released this month. A collection of Cecile’s work is on display (and available for purchase) from CLAY – a group exhibition celebrating the release of the book to be held at Saint Cloche Gallery, in Paddington, Sydney from the 20-24th October, 2016.