Big aura

"My creative work goes hand in hand with the search for new fabric uses. Its aesthetic qualities continue to inspire me, as does its historical importance within human civilization. I have dedicated my work to textiles.” Isabella Ducrot

The aura is that subtle field of luminous radiation, normally imperceptible and impalpable, surrounding all living beings (humans, animals and plants) like a halo capable of reflecting the soul of the individual to whom the aura belongs. Gigantic in this case, it accompanies the oversized garments of these superhuman beings precisely to elevate the wearer to a semi-divine level, through its imposing and fascinating presence. 

Constituting the installation's support is a pattern of black lines on a white background, forming a kind of gigantic grid on which twenty-three dresses are placed. The use of this particular, intentionally irregular and imperfect square pattern, obtained using the ancient artisanal technique of block printing, bears the artist's signature of sorts. She often uses this type of geometric pattern not only for aesthetic purposes, for the simple pleasure of getting lost in the weave of vertical and horizontal lines, but also with the political intention of honoring the checkered fabric, considered lowly in the history of Western fashion, mainly used and worn as it was by workers, such as farmers and masons, doing manual labor outdoors. When the squares were small, this fabric was used to make aprons and children's clothing.

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Isabella Ducrot recounts:

"I remember the first time I saw the ceremonial garments of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire on display in the Topkapi Palace museum in Istanbul; I was deeply struck by their size; they were out of proportion and revealed the sovereign indifference of the court tailors: they had taken no account of the normal anatomy of the human being. Unlike the proverb “clothes don’t make the man”, I was convinced the opposite was true: these exaggerated dimensions had ensured grandeur, dignity and sacredness for those who had worn them over the centuries, even when they had fallen from grace."

 

© Isabella Ducrot / Chanakya School of Craft

© Adrien Dirand

Big Aura by Isabella Ducrot, to be discovered until 28, January 2024.