À la fois artiste textile et artisanne, Aurore Pélisson explore l’ennoblissement textile à travers des pièces d’arts et des pièces de prêt-à-porter haut de gamme et éthiques. Par son approche poétique, elle propose des textiles à regarder, toucher, sentir, porter… Toutes les pièces sont uniques, pensées et réalisées en teinture naturelle dans l’atelier au coeur de la Provence. Les matières vivent différentes étapes, la main de l’homme transforme, détourne, expérimente et associe des techniques ancestrales et contemporaines. La variété des savoirs faire permet la conception de pièces uniques et sensibles.
Both a textile artist and a craftswoman, Aurore Pélisson explores textile finishing through high-end and ethical pieces of art and ready-to-wear. With her poetic approach, she offers textiles to look at, touch, smell, wear … All the pieces are unique, designed and made in natural dye in the south of France workshop. Materials go through different stages, human hands transform, divert, experiment and combine ancestral and contemporary techniques. The variety of know-how allows the design of unique and sensitive pieces
Aurore Pélisson / Photographed by Sina Opalka / write by Ruth RibeaucourtI live in Marseille, a cultural melting pot of a city in the south of France, on the Mediterranean Sea. My atelier is a magical place in a former convent, which for the last three years has become the home to over 40 different artists and craftspeople. Hidden behind ancient stone walls, we are tucked away in the heart of the city with one hectare of lush gardens, fruit and olive orchards and a large vegetable garden. It is a secret hallowed creative paradise.
Art becomes everything, and the work of art can be worn rather than observed.As soon as I discovered this place, I knew that this was where I needed to be, to create, to allow myself to dream. My own apartment is located a stone’s throw away in a lively district of the city centre, and I really love its traditional Marseillais style. It features high ceilings and tall windows that let in so much natural light, an ancient terracotta tile floor and a large terrace bathed in sun all year round overlooking private gardens. I was born and grew up in the south of France, in Provence. I spent my whole childhood between the farming world and the historic city of Avignon. I am so grateful that my family has given me an unconditional love of the land and an appreciation of nature. I learned to look, feel, and touch nature and I believe it is our most precious asset. I often say that it was outside in the wild that I visited my first museum, a life-sized natural museum, and ever since I was a child I have collected stones when out on my walks. From this happy childhood comes all my creative force. I quickly turned, from high school, into the Applied Arts sector, hesitating between whether to do agricultural studies or biology. Little by little, I leaned towards a BTS fashion design degree focused on fashion illustration. There I discovered fabric, an element already powerfully present in my childhood costumes and my extravagant outfits during my teenage years. In the end, I refined my choice and graduated in 2009 with a DNAT (National Diploma of Technical Art) in textile design at the fine arts school in Lyon. I relished every year of my studies in Lyon. I have often been asked why I studied design and not fine art, and I believe that my work today lies really down the middle–the cross between both fine art and design. With a thirst for the unknown, I left behind my beloved Provence and set off for an adventure for a few years in London, where by chance I met students from Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design. I discovered the artistic underground, saw exciting installations, I become involved with young creative festivals in Hackney Wicks and I painted a fresco in the hall of Saint Martin’s. I passed my days and months helping my friends with their graduation projects and would spend my weekends drawing and painting in the Glastonbury countryside. During this period, I also accepted freelance projects for big multinational fashion companies. After two intense years in this wonderful capital, I decided to return to my native land. I set up my first personal atelier and definitively stopped working for large corporations, most of whom produced mass-market fashion outside the European Union. I started to create my own fabrics, unique one-of-a-kind pieces and larger art installation pieces. I had the underlying desire to be totally in control of my artistic choices, from production to presentation. I constantly train and push myself to learn more about the world’s various textile techniques such as vegetable dyeing, screen printing and shibori. In addition to my work as an artist, I created the HAPE brand in 2012, making shawls and unique ready-to-wear pieces. During this time I also opened a gallery workshop with a storefront. This strong experience is a lasting part of the local economy to this day. In 2018, I packed my bags once again and moved to Marseille, where I decided to merge my work as an artist and my HAPE fashion line under one brand, Aurore Pélisson. So I definitively and officially subscribe to this magic line between the field of art and crafts. My workshop is a raw, unpolished space; it was once the former nun’s bathroom. It is steeped in stories that I let live and don’t in any way hide or cover up. It is still a blank page, a little yellowed by time, wonderfully weighted with whispers of the past but ready to receive the future.
Deep down I wanted to tell stories, through visual imagery, illustration and experimenting with materials.I have all my plants, tinctorial plant roots, my large pots…all these objects that make up my daily life and rituals. The space revolves around a very large central table, which is oversized so as to accommodate my textiles when I am creating on a large scale. The endless correlations between man and nature are my primary sources of inspiration. I want to make the invisible visible, I want us to look at the innocent as a grandiose and wonderful element. I constantly watch the world with bubbling excitement. I believe that underneath it all, my work is an interpretation of seeing Man in his whole form, including his raw animal side. I probe the porosity of our bodies facing their environments; the feeling of resting in front of the raw material. I like to give a sense of this state of grace, this osmosis of the human stakeholder in his environment and the correlations between human, vegetable and mineral flesh. With my work I truly aim to highlight the interactions of the elements between them. One of my greatest career challenges so far was in creating a monumental textile installation called IMMATERIELLE. It was composed of thirty meters of transparent silk muslin which I spent months hand-dyeing with natural indigo and silkscreened in gold. It was suspended seven meters high in the air at the heart of a 14th-century church. My journey begins with always washing, or scouring, my fabric to remove any wax or product which might have been added during the weaving process. Scouring is so important if you want to ensure an even dye. The next critical step is to mordant the fabric. I usually use metallic salts such as aluminium salt, which is a very common mordant, or substance used in dyeing. The mordant is necessary to fix the color, especially when you are using natural fabrics such as silk, linen or cotton. Next, I will choose between eco-printing, shibori or bundle dyeing, depending on the effect I’m hoping to achieve. I prep my fabric and my dye baths and start to dye. After all these years of experimenting with natural dyeing, it is always a surprise—always breathtaking—to discover the end result. As I unroll the fabric and remove the plants and rinse the fabric, the result unveils itself magically to me. Then my final step is to take my needle and thread and create wearable art…My eyes remain fixed on reality, while my hands become a channel of sensations rendering the lines of my own vision. It is through very slow gestures and meditative attention to the elements that the genesis of my work appears. When I search, touch, scratch, dye…the fiber or fabric becomes porous and vibrant. My textile experiments are nourished by ancestral and artisanal techniques, as well as a contemporary look nurtured by the randomness of our casualness.
My signature is to create with joy and communicate through my textiles the simple pleasures that we recognize in the middle of nature.My advice today for young creators would be to keep the pleasure of doing, creating and experimenting…and of course always stay tuned to the world around us. Copyright © 2023 Where Women Create™. All rights reserved.