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France / Pantin

Lucie Picandet at the Hermès leather workshops in Pantin

A representation of infinity.

As part of the fifth season of artists’ residencies from the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, Lucie Picandet is the guest of the Hermès leather workshops in Paris and Pantin, harnessing traditional leatherworking skills to create a cyclical, allegorical work exploring love and death. 

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Lucie Picandet at the Hermès leather workshops in Pantin
© Tadzio

Born in 1982, artist Lucie Picandet studied theology, philosophy and the aesthetics of film before joining the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where she worked in the studio of Jean-Michel Alberola, her mentor for the residency at the Hermès leather workshops in Pantin. Picandet’s work explores embroidery and its symbolic relationship to the human body. Here, she engages with the specificities of working with leather as a creative medium. The result is a specially-created, circular allegorical design measuring 180 cm in diameter, its surface composed of brightly-coloured leathers.

In situ at the leatherwork and cutting studios in Pantin, Lucie Picandet selected skins for her project (goatskin and bull calfskin) before splitting, reinforcing, cutting and final assembly on a wooden chassis. Qui me soit chair (‘Flesh of my flesh’) is a tondo crafted in leather marquetry, taking inspiration from ancient Egypt, where death was a necessary stage on the path to resurrection. The interconnected forms of a woman and crocodile create an ourobouros symbolising infinity and the regeneration of the soul.

Each year since 2010, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès has invited young visual artists mentored by leading personalities in their field, to engage with exceptional artisan skills and materials at the Hermès workshops. The programme of artists’ residencies includes a period of immersion at the workshops, following a feasibility study for the resulting project, involving the creation of a new work in association with Hermès artisans.

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Mentor  : Jean-Michel Alberola