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Le Progres

(Translated from French by JLB)

Biennale d’Art Populaire Citadin, Ain’ Pertinentes, Bourg-en-Bresse

Before, my work was much more iconographic, with the presence of deities from mythology, this overly spiritual presence tired me, and little by little the angels became birds,” explains Jane Le Besque in her studio at the back of her huge garden.

The birds came down to earth. Since then, they have been called chickens. “For me, the bird carries the colours on its wings from one place to another, “like a mediator, a go-between that brings light. Some of these birds have been in Bourg-en-Bresse for a few weeks now, solidly camped on their dewclaws, proud as it is not possible. It is true that they are all dressed in the most shimmering colours, frozen in rather crazy settings.

The one that Jane Le Besque has provided for the 2011 edition of Ain’Pertinentes is noticeably wiser than most of her congeners. The artist, who lives in a hamlet of Saint-Genis-Pouilly, with her husband and children, has christened it “Cooooo cot cot”, and she has covered it with paper nasturtiums carefully cut, painted and glued, in shades of red-orange and yellow.

How did she design it? “The idea was to make the chicken in the garden. “The idea was to place it, so that it would disappear, “become part of the garden, metamorphose in the flower beds or the vegetable garden”. Rather “a metamorphosis than a camouflage”, jokes the artist.

It stayed there for a few weeks, the time to make its place and its plumage, to take on the shapes and colours of the nasturtiums that take possession of its garden during the summer. Today, Jane Le Besque works a lot with paper cut-outs, to represent the salads, beets and birds in her garden, which escape from the frames of her paintings to become landscapes in their turn.

It is here, among the shrubs and flowers, amidst the tomato plants, courgettes and chard ribs that recompose the space, that she has composed these recipe books that flirt quite a bit with nonsense, humour and an assumed eccentricity, and which are as much works of art in their content as in their illustration. For example, the “Un soufflé de pollen”, which gave its title to one of her recipe and plate books…

The chicken of Ain’Pertinentes, is it an important project for her? “No, it’s interesting for me because i’ve always liked the link between cooking and painting, it’s something i’ve been able to develop with my books. »

The fact that her work is now associated with a dish created by the Lyon chef Pierre Orsi (the “grilled Bresse chicken in the hole”) delights her, of course. Even if she has not yet had the opportunity to taste this bird.

Jane Le Besque