Exhibition Orroir (Mont de l’Enclus) 2014

“I am a servant, not an artist”

Published on 19-04-2014 at 07h00 – L’Avenir
From floor to ceiling, every wall in the many rooms of his superbly restored farmhouse is covered with works of art that √Čtienne Loyson himself finds hard to define An assemblage made exclusively of elements salvaged from nature (root, piece of tree, stone…) “that have suffered from the effects of the sun, the rain, the wind…” and pieces, made of wood or metal, that the interior designer, born into a family of carpenters near Ypres, has gleaned from old houses – or elsewhere, like the copper from a burnt-down house or the spirals from a pig-feeding system – and that he stores in his workshop while waiting to give them a new life. None of his many sizeable creations – in twelve years, he has made more than 280! – resembles any other, in terms of shape, composition, colour accents, originality of symbolism…

“Nobody else can do this. Nature gave it to me,” continues the astonished self-taught artist, whose entire career, both human and artistic, has been marked by Hindu spirituality and mythology. I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere else…”. In his works (entitled The Lotus, The Germ, Broken Heart, The Way, Compassion, Tripurari…), everything appears justified, even the smallest detail, by a meaning: “There is no fantasy, nothing superfluous. Everything has a reason. Chakras, Shiva’s bow, sacred animals… Each panel he has patiently assembled has a spiritual link: “I don’t see myself as an artist, I’m just the instrument of the One above us. I’ve always been a seeker, I wanted to find the light, as well as freedom and detachment. But today I have the answer. And the result of this is my work”, says the artist who practices yoga and meditation. His first work consisted of a large root placed between two planks. Since then, his artistic development has been meteoric. When the idea suddenly comes to him, he draws on the first piece of paper he can find what will serve as a sketch for his composition: “Before, it was as if I didn’t have permission…”