I've always been fascinated by woodblock printing, both the technique and the result interest me. In 2017 I found two encyclopedias ("Larousse Universel Illustré IV: 1917-1919"), in front of a bookshop that was giving them away. These books are describing month after month the evolution of the first wold war till the end. Each chapter representing a month and begins with an illustration represents a landscape at this season.
When the festival team members contacted me to create the poster of the next summer event which would take place in a castle in the center of France, I directly thought about using those prints. So I pictured myself as a castle owner to figure out what would represent the best kind of living in this type of monument. Hunting is one of the privileges they had that's why castles usually have a large park sometimes inhabited by deers. I found in one of these books the engraving representing deers drinking at a river that I lightly modified (I erased one deer that had a strange face and that didn't correspond with the circle I wanted to cut out of it).
I knew I wanted to balance the archaic look of the woodblock print with a contemporary visual effect. Pixel sorting was the easiest way to obtain this effect by mimicking a waterfall that would directly merge with the existing engraving. The image I used to give a reflect impression on the surface of the water is actually a picture of the tailings pond of an iron and ore mine taken by a satellite. The gradation of blue, purple and pink gave me the direction for a matching background.
The french silk printer and naturaliste drawer Jessica Cognard reassured me in using the raw pink and showed me the work of Joao Ruas, a Brazilian artist who often uses a black circle to balance his compositions. In the end of the process, a member of the Chateau Perché team asked me if I could show the image with inverted colors, we ended up printing the two versions of the poster. The green version is slightly more dynamic, it also represents the night version of the existing one more illuminated.
Music & art festival poster / 2018
Château d'Avrilly, 03460 Trévol, France
Credits: Nicolas Pabion (assisted by Jessica Cognard)