( 0 )
Audrey Marnay is a model, actress and mother of three based in Paris. Originally from the countryside she is a nature lover and seeks to connect with its magic everywhere she goes. Here we have the pleasure of capturing her in the olive groves of Deya, in Mallorca where she is known to wander barefoot freely along the dry-stone walls and whisper to the wild animals that she meets on her path.
She first came to Mallorca for love as a model in the late nineties and has never changed her destination since, establishing seasonal roots, watching her children growing up there every summer. She is drawn to the island’s strong telluric energy with a landscape like no other. “The mountains touch the sea, you don’t really get that anywhere else. The energy is really strong; either you love it or you hate it, there is no in-between feeling.” As Gertrude Stein famously once said to Robert Graves “It’s paradise - if you can stand it”.
She says she needs places with strong natural energy to keep the balance in life: “Paris has a strong energy, but in a different direction, everyone rushing, pollution and fumes… we need strong energy from nature”.
Following William Morris’ maxim: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful, a year ago she got into ceramics on the island and decided to create a home decoration line in earthenware and linen inspired by the olive trees, and produced in collaboration with local artisans in Mallorca.
The Olive tree has long been a symbol of peace, victory, fertility, regeneration and female power, used to ward off evil spirits ever since Ancient Greek times when Athena planted the first olive tree. In a challenge before Zeus, Poseidon struck his trident in the ground at the Acropolis, where a well of salt water gushed out. As a more gentle response, Athena made an olive tree grow by the spring. The citizens preferred her gift and awarded her the city naming it after her.
According to Graves, and his study of Greek myths, in secret Orphic knowledge a calendar sequence of magical trees was each assigned to a separate joint of the five fingers in their sign language, like a pentatonic scale. Wild olive belongs to the top-joint of the thumb, the seat of virility and therefore called Heracles, a symbol of fertility incarnate as it is said he had leaves growing from his body. In ancient Europe artisans accompanied their work with incantations using their fingers as dactyl guides for creation, and like them, Audrey gets her thumbs stuck into the earth to dig out its eternal secrets.
Plucked from her surroundings like notes on Hermes’ lyre, she began by printing olive tree leaves on the raw ceramic, then painting them by hand. Objects shaped and moulded directly form nature, literally served on a plate, that take her straight back to the landscape of Mallorca from her home in Paris every time her fingers touch them.
Green sap of Spring in the young wood a-stir
Will celebrate the Mountain Mother,
And every song-bird shout awhile for her;
But I am gifted, even in November
Rawest of seasons, with so huge a sense
Of her nakedly worn magnificence
I forget cruelty and past betrayal
Careless of where the next bright bolt may fall
The White Goddess - Robert Graves
Below Audrey is wearing Paja top and pants.