Artists’ Residencies 2013

Gabriele Chiari in residency
Gabriele Chiari in residency at the Holding Textile Hermès © Tadzio
Marie-Anne Franqueville in residency
Marie-Anne Franqueville in residency at the cristallerie Saint-Louis © Tadzio
Anne-Charlotte Yver in residency at the John Lobb factory
Anne-Charlotte Yver in residency at the John Lobb factory © Tadzio
Marie-Anne Franqueville in residency
Anne-Charlotte Yver in residency at the John Lobb factory © Tadzio
Anne-Charlotte Yver in residency
Marie-Anne Franqueville in residency at the cristallerie Saint-Louis © Tadzio
Video of Anne-Charlotte Yver's residency at the John Lobb factory
In 2013, four artists undertook residencies as part of the Artists’ Residencies programme organised by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès. Gabrielle Chiari discovered the skills associated with fabrics at Holding Textile Hermès and Marie-Anne Franqueville explored crystal at the Cristallerie Saint-Louis, while Marcos Avila Forero and Anne-Charlotte Yver appropriated leatherworking skills at the Maroquinerie Nontronnaise and at John Lobb. Each artist was given carte blanche to explore these singular materials in dialogue with the workshops’ craftspeople.

2013 saw the first four-year cycle of the Artists’ Residencies programme, which was founded in 2010, draw to a close. The mentors for this cycle were seasoned artists with whom the Foundation has enjoyed an active, long-term collaboration: Susanna Fritscher, Richard Deacon, Giuseppe Penone and Emmanuel Saulnier.

Over the course of her residency at Holding Textile Hermès in the Lyon area, Gabriele Chiari (b. 1978, Austria) transposed her pictorial work to a new material, silk. Accompanied by the workshop’s craftspeople and by her mentor, Susanna Fritscher, the artist chose to explore a particularly rare technique: warp printing on duchess satin. This technique involves printing – or, in this case, painting – a design onto fabric, which is then unwoven and rewoven once more. The artist continued her usual approach to creation for the work’s initial steps: she poured paint onto a large, blank support – here silk rather than paper – and allowed the colourful substance to find its own form. The final work, following the reweaving step, is disorienting, its dark-red form apparently random yet integrated into the very structure of the fabric.

At the Maroquinerie Nontronnaise, in Dordogne, Marcos Avila Forero (Colombia, 1983) developed a project around the art of palenque communities. Formed by escaped slaves in rebel territories throughout Latin America, these communities survive today, and perpetuate and celebrate their history through their drums. Under the mentorship of Giuseppe Penone, Avila Forero asked the workshop’s craftspeople to redeploy their skills to construct a set of drums using parchment leather. He then inscribed the stories of the palenqueros upon the leather itself, before the drums were played by African musicians, thus closing a “circle” of  population displacement and cultural intersection.

During her residency at the Cristallerie Saint-Louis in Moselle, Marie-Anne Franqueville (b. 1980, France) imagined a work that brought together a number of the site’s workshops. Mentored by Richard Deacon, Franqueville drew inspiration from a 1971 crystal service (Diane) to imagine a “killer table setting”. Each of the delicate pieces of crystalware in her work represents part of a weaponised female body: the central piece consists of a headpiece pierced by barbs and covered in a web of red filaments, while glasses with sharpened edged are placed upon two saucers, forming breasts with pointed nipples that enclose a dose of arsenic. The installation is thus at once venomous and fragile, disturbing and fascinating.

At the bespoke boot workshop of John Lobb, in Paris, Anne-Charlotte Yver (b. 1987, France) explored new territories by studying leather, under the mentorship of Emmanuel Saulnier. Intrigued by the process of transformation that leather entails, from animal to hide, Yver placed this duality at the heart of her work. In Living Dead Factory leather is subjected to a series of ordeals: fixed to the wall, stretched to an extreme point of tension by metallic bars, or suspended from a hook and supporting abstract structures in concrete. The components of her work are animated by a series of tensions between materials (leather, rubber, steel, concrete) and sensations (flexibility, weightiness, constraint, balance).

Visual arts
Every year since 2010, artists have been invited to undertake residencies in the workshops of the house of Hermès.
In 2013, artists Gabriele Chiari, Marcos Avila Forero, Marie-Anne Franqueville and Anne-Charlotte Yver were hosted at different Hermès workshops.
Through dialogue with Hermès craftspeople, the artists were able to discover unique skills and explore the possibilities offered by singular materials.


  • Resident artists


    • Marcos Avila Forero Palenqueros at the Maroquinerie de Nontron
    • Gabriele Chiari, Chaîne 3.1 and Chaîne 3.2 at Holding Textile Hermès
    • Marie-Anne Franqueville, Presque innocente at the Cristallerie Saint-Louis
    • Anne-Charlotte Yver, Living Dead Factory at John Lobb Ltd.
  • Available in bookstores

    The Cahiers de résidence #4, published by Actes Sud / Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, 2013

See also