Garance Vallée | MAGNA MATER
SWING Design Gallery is delighted to present MAGNA MATER, the first solo show by French designer, architect and illustrator Garance Vallèe. Vallèe grew up surrounded by art. She began to draw and create objects as a child, amid punk music and paints in the studio of her artist father, Kriki—renowned for his role in French Street Art in the 1980s. Vallèe uses experimental, eclectic language and draws inspiration from contemporary art and architecture, translating her research into a sophisticated symbolic universe suspended between reality and utopia. This exhibit, conceived and realized exclusively for SWING, presents a personal reflection centered around the earth, form and color. MAGNA MATER is the earth goddess Cybele, Mother of the Mountains. The collection was inspired by a family story that has deep connections to the designer’s mother, to whom Vallèe has dedicated the show. The mirrors, seats, vases and sculptures on the floor of the gallery, arranged as though to suggest an offering, seem to emerge directly from the earth and go toward the viewer. The installation forms a circle, like a womb that embraces and contains—an organic image in contrast to the solid material of the objects. The objects are made out of a mixture of concrete and plaster that has been cast in layers and then tinted with natural pigments. Each piece is unique and made by hand by the designer in her Paris studio, using a wooden mold that is demolished after use. Also on view is a series of drawings, closely connected in language and aesthetic to the objects. Their geometric shapes and sinuous, feminine lines suggest a meeting of modernity and nostalgia.