Meanwhile in France – ‘Back to the roots’ – Marcel Pinas & Laurence Simode Franzon

Back to the roots is the title of a special exhibition opening on February 25 2012 in La Magnanerie de Seillans, Seillans, France. Marcel Pinas will show paintings, installations and a performance (live painting). Laurence Simode Franzon will have sculptures and ceramics to exhibit.


Since October 2011, this former silk factory’s Art Gallery has seen a renaissance, stepping up its previous artistic aims and offering 200 m2 of breathtaking contemporary art space for emerging and established artists in a magnificent listed heritage building.

This rebirth is due to a partnership formed between the Magnanerie’s owner, the Belgian industrialist Pierre Dufrasne, his close friend, the contemporary art collector, Roland Daumesnil, and the well-known gallerists, Guy and Michèle Beddington, who have run an exceptional gallery these last eleven years and, in 2010, inaugurated a major sculpture park, both of which are situated in or close to the nearby village of Bargemon.

As the Magnanerie’s opening show Signes draws to a close  on the 18th February 2012, the renaissance moves onwards from March 2012 with exhibitions by internationally established artists.

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The first features Marcel Pinas, who picks up the thread of ‘Signes’, for symbols play an important role in the work of this highly acclaimed artist from Suriname. Named young global ambassador for culture in 2010, and honored by H.R.H. the Queen of the Netherlands’ personally opening his Amsterdam sculpture exhibition in March 2011, Marcel Pinas’ leitmotif ‘Kibri a Kulturu’ (Preserve the Culture) is at the heart of his creativity, a life force aimed at conserving and building upon the fragile cultural heritage of his people, the N’Dyuka, descendants of slaves transported from Africa to Dutch Guiana in the 18th and 19th centuries. Pinas’ paintings, sculptures and Land Art and the Cultural Centre he has created, safeguard against the otherwise inevitable destruction of their historic links to Africa and give a new cultural confidence to a younger generation humbled by civil war and polluted by gold mine exploitation. His canvases display a marvelous and rich color sense allied to a complexity of geometric forms subtly embellished with the esoteric messages contained in the Afaka script,  a native phonetic alphabet invented around 1900, and re-discovered by researchers in the 1960s.

Complementing Marcel Pinas fittingly, the outstanding and graceful ceramic and steel sculptures of Laurence Simode Franzon, too, are totemic, and in great part inspired by the Dark Continent and express her conviction that we are all shaped by memories and experiences :

“I use local clay, a point of departure which permits me to set off each time on a new voyage of discovery. I do not use glazes, seeking simplicity and pureness of form, the better to channel my feelings. My work always follows specific themes, but always those that concern human relationships, and particularly those that involve the family unit. My works always show optimism in line with my fervent belief in humanity. I go out myself to find the clay, I dry it, I mold it and then construct, piece by piece, just as we construct our life or our thoughts, patiently, passionately, obsessively. I aim for my sculptures to inhabit their surroundings, be it indoors or outdoors, and for them to become as indispensable and as naturally discreet as the tree is for nature. My wish is that they caress the soul of those that regard them , that they act as talisman.”

What: Back to the roots, exhibiton with Marcel Pinas (paintings, installations, performance (live painting)) and Laurence Simode Franzon (sculptures and ceramics)

Where: La Magnanerie de Seillans, 12 Ancienne route de Fayence, 83440 Fayence, France

When: March 1 2012-June 2 2012. Opening Saturday February 25 2012, 18:00 hrs

Opening hours: Thu & Fri: 14:00-18.30 hrs / Sat: 10:00-18:00 hrs / And by appointment: mobile+ 33(0) 6  80 111 763  and  tel+ 33(0) 4 94 76 64 06

Article from ‘nice-matin’, November 30 2012


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