art residency in Sardinia

Chroma-flore, from the 18th of February to the 4th of March 2018


Art residency in Morgongiori, Sardinia, as part of Spectrapolis project from Heuristic Association. 


Chroma-flore is a series of coloured engravings, result of 2 weeks of art residency in Sardinia. During this inspiring period, Cécile Gay was immersed in the flora around Morgongiori, small village high in the Monte Archi hills. The artist has built her palette of inspiration from her observations and feelings in situ. Outdoor, in a wild and preserved setting, she picked-up selected plants, trying to capture some colours with her box of watercolours, etc.


Based on the vast assortment of this picking, Cécile Gay has decided to work with engraving process printed only in colours, especially monotypes, woodcut and dry point on Plexiglas. This project is much more than just a botanical observation. Through the work of the colour, the artist aims to transcribe her coloured perceptions sensed during the first days of observation outdoors in changing weather.


During the stay, I was impressed by the unsettled colours that I’ve observed walking in nature around the village. In February, this is changing weather. a plant which seems pale and faded in the winter sun can, suddenly while a cloud is passing, appears vibrant and colourful in a grey sky. I was trying to catch these amazing colour ranges with my watercolour box and the light was changing all the time… These “coloured feelings” inspired me to create Chroma-Flore. This project is a work about colours more than plants. By using the engraving process, I make appear floral patterns from the flat coloured backgrounds. The colours of these background were developed to seem unnatural and too vibrant because this is what I have sensed in the Sardinian wild.

The depicted plants are growing on various  paper formats (square, horizontal and elongated rectangles) into lively general arrangements. To create each engraving, the artist starts with a flat coloured background which is carved, erased or washed out on some parts. By using this techniques, a characteristic feature of the engraving, the plants are carefully appearing onto the colour, being more or less figurative.


Chroma-Flore is a project that is still being developed by Cécile Gay, now into her Parisian studio. The pictures shown on this page are the result of 2 weeks of residency.


This collection of engravings will be exhibited in several places in France and Italy. More infos about these exhibitions will be published on the website, as soon as possible. For further details, please feel free to contact me. 

Thanks to this residency, I came to realize how important and inspiring it is to go outside to observe before to create. When I go out for inspiring findings, I never know what will catch my eyes and what I will bring back to the studio as work basis… The final result becomes strong, rich, and surprising. I’m going to keep observing in-situ at the beginning of each new project. Real life is so much more inspiring than internet!