© Vanni Basetti for Parfums Christian Dior
Résonance, a sculpture by Clarisse Aïn – the winner of the first Dior de la Colle Noire Award – has been installed at Château de la Colle Noire. The exhibition was prepared as part of a chair at the Beaux-Arts de Paris art school sponsored by Christian Dior Parfums, initiated in October 2020 by Jean de Loisy, the director of the school. Entitled “Inhabiting the Landscape – Where Art Meets the Living World”, the chair invites students to explore connections between contemporary artistic creation and nature, imagining works that dialogue with geology, history and the myriad living things and beings that build and populate a place.
Clarisse Aïn’s sculpture expresses a unique sensitivity to Provençal flora and subtle scientific phenomena. For her work, the artist drew on a study that demonstrates the correlation between sound frequencies and their effects on living things, in particular the range of frequencies between 150-432HZ, which have been found to activate the chlorophyll system in plants and encourage their growth and healing. Her installation punctuates the garden with large tuning forks in soft steel that are activated by the wind to emit vibrations, which are propagated by semi-buried metal cables and circles.
During their year-long studies, as part of the chair program students had an opportunity to work on the conception of full-scale projects. Following a call for candidates, thirteen students were shortlisted: Clarisse Aïn, Arthur Guespin, Mathilde Maury Simeoni, Luna-Ece Bal and Marc Lohner, Tiphaine Bedel, Mathias Bensimon, Pauline Brami, Nina Jayasuriya and Tristan Chevillard, Halldora Magnusdottir, Yuqiu Mao, and Libo Wei. The students visited the Château de la Colle Noire to get a feel for the location and talk with the head gardener of the domain. Their projects were then exhibited in the chapel of the Beaux-Arts de Paris.
The projects were then presented to an international jury chaired by artist Giuseppe Penone, and including artist Gloria Friedmann, Beaux-Arts de Paris director Jean de Loisy, Chiara Parisi, director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, Jérôme Pulis, international communications director of Christian Dior Parfums, landscape architect Bas Smets and professor Estelle Zhong Mengual.
The jury selected the three projects proposed by Clarisse Aïn, Arthur Guespin and Mathilde Maury Simeoni, who received grants of €2,500 to develop detailed sketches. After a final review of the three sketches, the jury presented the award to Clarisse Aïn.
Located in Montauroux, in the hills near Grasse, Château de la Colle Noire was Christian Dior’s final residence, a place where he could restore his energy far from the frenetic pace of Paris. With his deep love of flowers, the couturier cultivated a garden that spanned thousands of square meters and inspired his most famous perfumes.