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The swallows !

Swallows may not be spring but still, when I see them I tell myself that I am on the right track for the sun, the naps in the shade of an umbrella pine, and hours like this watch them play in the blue void of the sky.

I like the swallows, I like the way they fly, the way they ricochet off the water at the end of the day on the flat surface of the pond, the musical notes they make on the electric wire.

But what I like the most about them are the trips they tell us about.

When I see the first swallows arrive in the spring, I imagine that they have just crossed the Mediterranean, the Sahara, that a few weeks ago they were flying around mud huts, that they were flying over giraffes and dromedaries, that 'they went to fetch a little water on the surface of the Niger River, perhaps crossing a hippopotamus, that they heard the clamor of the muezzin, the melodies of the balafon, that they breathed Africa... The swallows take me on a journey .

Swallows are free, for them there are no borders. Birds have this privilege.

Swallows are courageous, they migrate each season through hostile climates.

My father told me as a child that one day in the middle of the Saharan dunes, a huge metal pipe broke, creating a lake in the middle of this mineral universe. An artificial lake therefore in the middle of the dunes, without fish, without algae: pure water on sand.

The following year, he returned to see if the lake was still there. He still had a dune to cross when he heard "corner, corner"... A duck in the middle of the desert? My father quickly approached the lake to see what was happening.

And there, surprise, the lake was now home to a multitude of small algae, small fish and ducks! But how the hell did all these little people get here, in the middle of the desert? My father explained to me then: It is thanks to the migrants!

Ducks, swallows cross the Sahara every season. When they see a waterhole from the sky, they land for a while to drink a little and rest. In their legs, in their feathers, they carry small seeds, perhaps small eggs, in their droppings too, and all this arises here, in the middle of the desert. Thanks to them life had come.

My father loved chaining on Darwin's tongs, and also on all his swallows that he had seen in the shade of the rocks in the middle of the sands, exhausted, almost dead, he saw their fragility and their strength.


Perhaps thanks to these stories, perhaps also thanks to the nomadic culture that has always been familiar to me, I have always thought that the foreigner, the nomad brings us news from elsewhere, that he lives a hard life but that it is necessary for the circulation of ideas and cultures. The sedentary people need them.

When I created Ombre Claire, I drew jeweled swallows all over the place, collier, in Ring, in earrings, silver, vermeil or ebony, sometimes as a pattern on a robe or a combination, they were for me the symbol of these exchanges.

I draw the motif of this migrant almost like a logo, and when I'm not thinking of anything I still almost systematically draw swallows on my empty page. I imagine maybe it's their songs that tell me stories and inspire me.

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