In 2009, Véronique Chanel, a painter and photographer, fell in love with lacquer, an ancestral Chinese technique that we know mainly in furniture. She is going to train herself in Lacquer and never stop, constantly trying to appropriate this rigorous technique, classified as "craft", to use it in a more personal universe. Lacquer possesses an inimitable softness that gives it a sensuality that is also present in the long process involving a rigorous chain of operations: hours of meticulous water sanding, during which the hand passes over and over, wet, smooth, caresses, sponges, sands and responds with gentleness and patience.
It is to this gentle battle that the slowness of the process and the excitement of the creation are given way: the artist is thus kept on the edge of his seat, also having to respect the long drying times between the dozens of coats, before sanding them down and continuing. She speaks of a "restrained jubilation" that participates in her passion for this medium, in the very fact that it imposes this changing state on her, being in a kind of meditation while she is sanding the surface for hours on end, and in the more spontaneous and tense joy of the creative action.
Véronique Chanel talks about the infinite possibilities offered by this ancestral technique, confronting the material in a more contemporary spirit, enriching and finding her own creative solutions, having allowed herself to be surprised, reusing her surprises, adopting them. Beyond the inherent sensuality of Lacquer, the rendering is always mysterious, made of transparency, depth, always changing reflections, captivating the eye with floating and hypnotic details.
The artist is working on several series, a set of silhouettes called "Presence", which she claims to have emerged from the material, as present in the successive layers of material and varnish, a series of portraits of characters with enigmatic eyes and a series of "dream dresses" about which she writes the following:
"I use the technique of lacquer to paint dresses, tirelessly dresses, thus frozen in the transparency of the layers of varnish that serves as their setting. To say the memory of a moment stolen from movement, from life. Immobilized in their flight, fixed in their fragility, theatrically present, dancers without dancers, ghosts of joy, from where a flower flows here and there at the belt: like the concentrate of an energy, its pregnant trace. And the splashes then come to say this: remember how we turned and laughed, how we lived and if I don't dance anymore, life is still there.
Like an attempt to exhaust the motif, a vain and jubilant attempt, which I pursue - an obsession -, dizzy with curiosity and the pleasure of seeing them appear, always different and becoming a pretext for the sole pleasure of painting, of seeking emotion through the colours and the matter dialoguing in the transparency of the lacquer. »