Anne-Marie Weyers was born in Brussels in 1945.
Her visual work represents a multidisciplinary artist, with a universal outlook as painter, watercolourist, designer and engraver. Anne-Marie is also a writer, storyteller and illustrator of numerous collections.
People get amazed by the inner coherence of an artist, who multiplies visions, genres, traits. Drawing, wash drawing, watercolor, oil, acrylic: this incredible and seemingly natural diversity constantly evolves in a field of shapes and colors that opens onto a very personal vision of the universe: the perception of the unnoticed.
All the disciplines of a work constantly rethought, mastered, constitute the pictorial writing of an artist who also writes, even when she illustrates the books of others. His fantastic texts, or witnesses of everyday life, his poems, his stories and short stories have a common denominator: poetic density. This corresponds to the charge of strangeness, or “proximity” to the elsewhere that inhabits all of his pictorial work. From what realm of the dream, for example, does this character with tawny plumetis, almost magic gold, emerge, whose fascinated gaze fascinates? And from what legendary domain arises this imprecise landscape which shudders all the blues? Or that sleeping child. With a simple pencil, his presence is there, peaceful. And that old man in the street. His entire approach, with the weight of a life on his shoulders, everything is there in a few lines.
There is also, with Weyers, a way of drawing that deviates from the sketch to achieve a sort of ‘understatement’ of plastic expression. She then accesses the masterpiece. The complexity of other drawings, in pen or graphite, is also admirable. Several worlds juxtapose and interpenetrate. With what precision the artist suggests and arranges the different levels of the imagination! As in this ‘tribute to Thomas Owen’ which draws your gaze in all possible fantastical directions. Or this magical little boy from old tales, half suffocated by a bunch of initiation keys. Only the eyes emerge, here again. But the color!
Whatever the material, the artist makes it as rich in variations as the line, in a language of colors that is both elaborate and inspired. We see there a poetics of color in Chagall’s kinship. Anne-Marie Weyers: a secret, complete artist. In the fine force of its mystery.
How does the artist see himself in the act of creating?
For me the creative act is sacred. It is to live the being in its totality but there is nothing spectacular about it, it is a plenitude, a certainty of being 100% where I should be, without scruple or feeling of guilt. Without excluding the question of reflection in the concrete realization of the work (composition, harmony of colors, etc.) to create is, in my opinion, a state of the order of experience and not of reflection: the present moment becomes global, infinite, outside the course of time which is suspended. In this act, in this state, I am completely absorbed in listening and being available to what is happening in me and on the support. At that moment, I am not in the same reality as that of my daily life while my body and my consciousness are there, or let’s say that reality is then entirely expanded, increased by its plenitude, by my plenitude, by your fullness. It is to be here while being elsewhere, in an intense receptivity, where this mysterious reality uses me to appear and give itself to be seen in a readable form in time, here and now, and this is the work that leads by the nose once I have taken the first step, laid down the first milestones of the work, whether on my own initiative or to respond to a pressing intuition or an imperative need for expression according to the case. I am the first to be surprised by discovering in this way what is revealed to me, through me, and which is beyond me but of which I am a part in the same way as all of us. Ideally, and regardless of the diversity of our vocations, our types of actions or commitments, we should be able to live permanently in this state, but it is so full and intense that we would die of it, I believe.
Is it essential for the artist to travel, to discover, to exchange ideas with his peers in order to be inspired?
Admittedly, exchanges with others, travel, synergies can help, stimulate creation, but the material created does not come from there, it is neither in us nor outside of us, it is us, it is from our common fund and crosses us, uses us to reveal itself and take shape. By creating, we are inhabited by what goes beyond our own limits. When we listen to her, she initiates us into ourselves.
Shouldn’t art be pluralistic, impervious to fashion, to fads?
Absolutely! Art transcends time and space, it is free from any “anecdotism”. He ignores fashions. It is the link between the past, the future, infinity, and is thus at the source of an unfathomable potential. This is what makes the difference between the simple line drawn by a Hokusai, a Rembrandt (and by any artist who responds to an inner need, who feeds on universal memory and experiences plenitude) and a superficial, anecdotal line , inconsistent, devoid of vital force despite a possible flattering effect in appearance. The first will never cease to fascinate us, to attract us like a magnet, to make us relive the creative act of the artist by proxy, but also to project us there as actors facing ourselves as in a mirror, ours where everything is in everything, while the second puts us face to face with a wall, a dead end where we hide, impoverished and bitter. So, between Hokusai and us, this simple line is “hyphen”; there is transmission of experience from full moment to full moment, and that is the magic of the imponderable and its listening.
When you paint or write, are you already thinking about communicating with others or are you completely listening to yourself?
Yes, I believe that I communicate, but not in the way one might think in the sense that I am alone at the time, listening and focused on the act of creation. I don’t have to think about communicating when I create because I am crossed by communication, it invites itself and I am only a link in it. She gives herself to me and is then taken back from me so that, like a bird, she continues to fly where she wants and sings her song for whoever is listening. But even if it was only passing through, it leaves in me some of its nuggets which illuminate my path and direct me towards a new horizon richer each time of this essential experience.
Do you feel new to the act of creating, or rich in the knowledge of your predecessors?
I feel new when I create but not from my own wealth, not from my own personality. I feel new from what I receive, from what “receiving” makes me live in the moment, because it is the experience of the moment that essentially counts, it is he who waters me from the very source of common memory if I am available and empty of myself. This is where the heritage of humanity is found, the treasures accumulated by all those who have gone before us and who come to us through inspiration, through the journey of the unconscious. The experience of the act of creation, this experience, opens me up to myself, where I leave my anecdotal being to closely touch my essence, which itself comes from this heritage. The achievements of my predecessors are part of this matter of memory, in digested form, transformed into soil in which the plant germinates which will become a flower under my fingers or under my pen, but I cannot say whether this or that predecessor is the one who inspired me because it is this whole ancestral land that is concerned. It is therefore in it that I feel new, because intuitively, and paradoxically, I “recognize” it, I recognize myself in it, I recharge my batteries.
For Pirandello, art avenges life. Do you agree with him?
But what does he want to avenge her for? Revenge is a feeling that belongs to the human, to the human condition. But life is beyond the human, it transcends it, and it does not need to be avenged because it is what it is. Would Pirandello mean that art immobilizes and eternalizes by inscribing it in a form, this life that never stops unfolding, being an infinite string of moments that follow one another? In this case, would art be a way of avenging life for the flight of time, of death, of prolonging itself in a work, an abstraction, an analogical expression of this life, and thereby of to save the essence, to reveal it as well as the best of the human being via the part which concerns the soul of this one? I’m not sure I fully understand his deep thoughts when he speaks in this way.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION
Are there different sources of inspiration depending on the techniques used?
Technique has a role to play in the expression of inspiration, but it cannot transform its substance, divert it. It plays on the mode of expression, on the form to be given to the inspiration, and one can go to this or that technique to translate this inspiration as faithfully as possible, but it is the latter that directs everything. Intuition plays a big role in this because there are at least two ways to proceed: one is to start from the technique and see how the inspiration will take shape there, and the other is to let yourself be guided by inspiration and, following our intuition, to go towards this or that technique. This second way seems to me to be the most adequate, but if a technique is imposed for any reason, it can also be interesting to see how to express and concretize the inspiration through the latter, even if it seems to be less adapted in the immediate. The work will always find its way there and will benefit from this positive constraint. There will be an experience of overcoming for the creative act and discovery of an unexpected form of incarnation of this inspiration which will be enriched in its expression. So inspiration is true to itself and reveals its mystery to us, regardless of the technique used, insofar as the technique gives itself fully to it with all its means, even if they are unsuspected and even above all if they are. .
When inspiration springs, how do you choose your mode of expression?
Very intuitively! It almost decides for me. There is no rule. I would say that if the inspiration is peaceful, calm, I will choose according to my instinct and if there is constraint, according to what will present itself to me as a means of expression, but with peaceful listening. On the other hand, if I experience something that has a visceral impact on me, I will tend to express myself through a more expressive and gestural technique, a technique that allows me spontaneity, immediacy, even raw expression, expressionist, in short, a means of expression which offers me the possibility of translating the fulgurance, even the cruelty or the violence of the experience. In fact, any means of expression is suitable for representing inspiration. What matters is how it is used to achieve that goal.
What exactly is imagination? Are there mysterious precursors, promising factors conducive to creation?
I don’t know what imagination is exactly, but for me it is a friendly presence, a guardian fairy who has always been by my side, who helps me, inspires me and sometimes plays me ugly tricks in giving me great fears, but which always gives me the means to transcend them to make a positive use of them. Everyone is, I believe, endowed with such a fairy, but sometimes it takes a trigger, an external source, an experience, a feeling, a vision, the titillation of one of our senses, for it to pops up without warning. It allows us to get out of our own gangue, to project ourselves into space, in improbable situations but which can eventually give rise to twists which materialize in reality and in the realization of a work or an invention. news. The imagination is, I think, another layer of ourselves that extracts us from our present reality and leads us into its domain where everything is possible, where everything can be reconciled and even invested in other layers of ourselves. She is our cave of Ali Baba, our magic carpet, our winged mount which makes us live in other skins, other animate or inanimate states, but which come to life for unforeseen adventures. For my part, the affective aspect plays a big role in the emergence of the imagination. Friendly thoughts, tenderness, automatically transport me to these layers of myself where the adventure begins and there, it is my own Walibi where I hope to meet you!
Where does your attraction to fantasy art come from?
I think it’s a catharsis. This comes, I believe, from my anxious and emotional nature which, on the basis of certain experiences, is short-circuited by the imagination. A spark then comes to open me to a fantastic adventure which will defuse the anguish of a great fear, for example, by transcending it via a story or a work to be written, painted or drawn, and where it finds a way out. either happy, favorable, or unfinished, that is to say having an open and therefore unresolved end, likely to give rise, if necessary, to another possible story or adventure. I am fascinated by the strange, by the underlying, parallel worlds that rub shoulders with us, which sometimes overlap in us, by the other layers of our reality that are there, silent presences, ready to make an incursion into our daily reality. when the wall between these worlds, between these layers turns out to be too thin. I think that we carry these worlds within us and that they inhabit us, shape us, guide us, direct our thoughts via the action of our imagination which offers them the necessary supports to materialize in writings or in plastic works where the unconscious is not left out to inject its colors, its unexpected, unusual presences and its mysteries.
Do you perceive in your work a certain kinship with the work of Chagall?
I love Chagall, yes, but who doesn’t love Chagall? In any case, I never thought or wanted to “make Chagall”. Perhaps I have with him an affinity with certain feelings as to how to give them concrete form (sensations of flight in case of happiness or for the ephemeral aspect of things etc.)? No doubt these images respond symbolically to the same feelings in the collective unconscious? Would he make them available to creators at the risk of them borrowing the same images under the influence of the same sensation, the same feeling? I do not know.
Why use so many different techniques?
I think that we have never finished developing our tool and thus always acquiring more freedom of expression to which techniques contribute. These allow us to go further, to make discoveries, to see the various facets of the possible expression of the same theme, even simple, such as the analogical expression of these themes, and to discover the treasures of mysteries they bring to light for us. They are a call to exploration but also a way to get as close as possible to expression and its quintessence. But we never arrive at this total purity, we only approach it. The techniques contribute to this thanks to their specificities which are for us so many tentative approaches towards our own little Grail.
Delacroix considered that the execution, in painting, must always be improvisation. Is that how you do it?
I agree with Delacroix if improvisation is based not on chance but on intuition and listening, which does not mean that there must be the elimination of all constraints, capable of supporting improvisation. So, improvisation yes, but channeled, guided, to allow the creation of the work to reach its deepest expression and to highlight its mystery and what it has to reveal to us about itself and about ourselves. . So improvisation is of the order of realization, of technique, but it is dependent on the inspiration which is its source.
FROM WORKSHOP TO EXHIBITION
Is your workshop a refuge, a place of work, or a think tank?
My studio is all of that. Above all, it is the place where I feel good, where I feel at home. It is a matrix, a place of gestation where I can give shape to a work while being reborn each time to myself, but it is above all the work which has the strength and which directs the energy where it wants and who reveals himself to me. The workshop is a setting.
Is exhibiting equivalent to sharing, exchanging, dialogue, or discovering who you are through the eyes of the other? Others?
It is all that, but it is the work that is the catalyst allowing the meeting, the exchange with the others, with the other and vice versa. We discover the work first and the others through it. Regardless of any differences in reactions and opinions to the work. What matters is that it creates the encounter, the exchange in the face of the work, its enigmas, its mysteries, and that through it emerges the dialogue with others, with oneself in our journey of life.
Can or should the work of art become a manifesto? Have you ever thought about it?
For me, it doesn’t have to be a manifesto, but it “manifests itself” or it “manifests something”. It should not be an “imposition” of something, but itself “imposes itself” by its presence. On the other hand, it has a real presence which “impress” if it draws its expressive force from the sources of life, from the common fund of humanity, and if it expresses the forces and eddies of the times while assimilating to the flow of time, the one that stirs up the memory of the oldest of origins. In this it can “manifest”, “impose”, “impose”, as well by the unsaid, the unformulated, the eloquent silence as by forms and words. It “imposes itself” by its presence if it has a radiance, be it visible or not, provided that it is real, that is to say animated by the force of what is authentic and universal.
Does a painting, a drawing, an engraving appeal to the eye, to the mind, to the imagination?
I believe that a work does not speak in this way. I believe that it speaks directly to the whole person, at first sight. It’s mysterious. I think that the person himself does not know what is happening or why one work attracts him more than another. She will be able to analyze this in a second step, but from the outset, it is a global, inexplicable attraction, in direct contact from soul to soul if one can say so. Moreover, and implicitly, there will also be something of the soul of the artist, but I believe that initially, it is the mystery of the painting which attracts, like a magnet, the person who looks at it . If the energy of a painting is very strong and authentic, there can be a communion such that the viewer experiences what the artist experienced, namely: a sensation of suspension of time, a moment of state of being, and he does not come out unscathed. There is then “perhaps” metamorphosis in himself and he finds himself with a new skin to the soul.
If you could bequeath only one work to humanity, what would it represent?
Goodness ! In all its forms, or in just one, but eloquent in its discretion, in its quiet strength. Abstract notion as to the word but not as to its radiance. It is difficult to express because it is made to be discreet, self-effacing and radiant, but perhaps I would represent it as a high mountain flower, trembling in the wind, barely perceptible, but whose simple to exist, even to never be seen, is already an extreme manifestation of goodness, of “goodness”, of all the goodness in the world, of this extraordinary potential so little known, so little picked up, missed treasure for our glances, but which is being sown without our knowledge all around the planet. Goodness is there, you have to pick it, fish it, catch it like a butterfly, taste it, hug it, make it ours.