Mano a Mano, the Great Hands Collection

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It is said that drawing is relaxing. It is also said that the palm lines trace a map of our interior landscape, revealing its path, its destiny. What do we see in them? What do them make us feel? What do we put in them? 'Mano a Mano' or 'The Great Hands Collection' is a graphical and poetic concept for all of us. It is an invitation to a peaceful walk in the palm of our hand, in the country of the soul, with a pencil as a substitute to the walking stick. It is time for a truce in the ferment of life. A moment of peace through a creative act, drawing. Here our hand is our blank sheet, our refuge. We draw its perimeter, which defines the territory to be invested, invented. Using markers, brushes, pencils, collage and embroidery techniques we will create an intimate world, the reflection of our personality, our taste, and our colors.

Breathe. Let it come. Fill as one pleases.
Free the instinct, the hand, the heart, the mind, and the desire.
Take your time. Go beyond if necessary.
No pressure, no name of the game. No style is imposed.
It isn’t a contest!
Just a pretext to have fun, enjoy the here and now, and experience a sweet moment.

Brought together since 2017, all those handprints form a collective work still in evolution, a universal exhibition on the road, which is home to our fates, styles, languages, differences… Initiated by Morgan Momette, this project fits perfectly with a long-term transdisciplinary experience, which cares about art and the path. By weaving bonds between us it tends to create a space and time preserved from jostling. Life paths, creative process, a return journey between us and the world, intimacy and collectivity. Experiences, trajectories, crossroads, encounters, stories, all of them constitute the raw material of this adventure. Everyday a new page is written nourished by asked questions and proposed responses at every turn, in each handshake that we give.

What happened next?

At the beginning of September 2018, Mike Bouvier continued the construction of the nomadic drawing tables initiated in Calais, around which people can seat with family or friends to draw during the exhibitions. A couple of days before 'Jours de Fête', we settled our campsite in the Parc de la Brégaisière at St Herblain and started the installation of 'Grand Bazar Mano', described as follows in the programme: “A peaceful bubble, an open air atelier, the court of small miracles and big oracles. An universal exhibition, drawings, photos, a logbook: the hand palms of Reinette, Nelawi, André, Jill, Zeïn, Jeannine…. Musicians selling colors, tangible poets, collectors of little ways, meetings to do, unrehearsed, crayons and brushes at your disposal.” Coline Linder sang, played the violin, the ukulele, the saw and printed beautiful words and haikus on the bush leaves thanks to her vagabond press machine. Denis Péan covering old newspapers with calligraphy, delivering poems over time, whispering into the ears, the walls, the hands… Inside, the dailylife of an teeming atelier-exhibit, dedicated to testing, improvisation, lazing about. Pleasant music, soft mood, simple and warm, the public is active. Outside, many people are busy around the tables, focused brushes, drawings dried by the wind, afternoon naps in the deckchairs with a glass of homemade Bissap, a henna tattoo on the hand, a good mousse, elbows leaning on the bar’s counter…

In October, a small installation of Mano a Mano took place at the Solilab in Nantes in the frame of the 'Festival L’Avant Curieux' organized by l’Avant-Courrier et Curis, producers of shows, companies, artistic projects. Laurent Cadhilac (also called Mr Rouille) allowed for this occasion to build another type of bubble, more intimate by giving us space in the greenhouse-atelier-gallery, with perfect dimensions. As a huge bonus, at the middle of the evening, our friends from Chant des Pavillons immersed us in their celestial melodies. At the end of the month the installation moved to Calais in the Fort Nieulay district, for the project 'Remember my neighbourhood'.

When the month of December came, Momette treated herself with a week of residency to get on the creation of a short stage form, as a result of the collected material of Mano a Mano throughout the past 2 years. The project is an attempt to use the graphic and photographic substances to give shape to the richness of the experiences and the density of the emotions accumulated along this adventure. In parallel, there is also the desire to create of a book-object to keep trace on paper - a geopolitical Atlas, a logbook which contains our thousand drawn handprints, an enciclopedia of our random paths... 

May 2019, Calais one for more time!

A long awaited event, that has long been expected at the Channel. Mano a Mano once again invades the walls of the Bazar and the courtyard during 'A Taste of the Other' festival in May 2019. Another beautiful occasion to nurture the mind, the eyes, the ears, to reinvent things, to draw our line and to see everybody again - the fabulous team of Le Channel, the new friends from Fort Nieulay, and the past workshops' participants. 

To be continued...