Last week I found Giordanno Bruno's book that I was reading in October 2004 in Ouagadougou and which inspired me with the name "Ombre Claire".
A few months before, I left my student studio, brought all my things back to the family home, and worked in a recreation center to pay for tickets to Africa.
I left with this little philosophical essay called "The Links" in my bag and a walkman in which an AIR CD played on repeat.
I was doing an internship in "Ouaga" in a design and craft fair and I took the opportunity to do a few trips around the country on weekends.
After that I knew that I would join Niger and Agadez in January and that I would ask the artisans of Agadez and the bush to make objects that I was drawing.
I began to tell myself that I wanted to find a job that would allow me to travel between France and West Africa, I designed collections of bags, shoes, clothes and I wondered how I was going to do create it all. My collection theme was "links", which is why I bought Giodarno Bruno's book.
I was so afraid of entering into a daily life that would take me away from the Saharan universe, from traveling, I thought that I had to make an important, urgent choice right away, an urgent need to experience things that have meaning, create my story, my path, my life.
All the other adults seemed tidy to me as I loved the hustle and bustle of the family home: the overflowing bookcases, the piano, my mother's brushes to dry in the glass jars by the sink, the bamboo and banana trees. in the garden, the friends of the parents who arrive to have a drink or to eat "à la bon franquette", the Tuareg friends who settle down with their suitcases which smell the perfumes of Niger. The passionate debates between Tuaregs and Afghans in the living room by the fireside, my brother's friends who come to pick him up to play basketball, who imagine clips until 3 a.m. in front of their screens, the dog barking for a yes or no, the neighboring archaeologists who tell us about an Egyptian discovery over the hedge.
It was always the bonds with others, the ones we made at home that made me happy. Receive, be received, exchange.
On my return from Agadez, I was lucky enough to be offered to exhibit in Paris my first collection of jewelry made with Tuareg artisans from Niger.
The collection was about links, love links, links between people, between cultures.
All I saw was link. A huge universal knitting, and there was this sentence from the book that followed me: "My shadow slips under my feet and makes me soles of wind". I watched my shadow slide under my feet, turn around me, and become attached to things, meet others, touch other shadows, intertwine. My shadow was already creating contacts, links with the world without me having to move. The light around me took care of handling this for me.
Ombre Claire was born ...
And even today, motionless or nomadic, my shadow travels.