BIOGRAPHY

Ann-Isabelle Guyomard, alias Oïjha, is a French contemporary artist, altogether scientific and artistic, body-related and spiritual. She grew up in Norway and is fascinated by polar regions. In 2010, she graduates as a Doctor in International Law for Antarctica from the University of Nantes (France). The French Prime Minister François Fillon grants her PhD thesis with the National Excellence Prize in Law of the Sea (2011). Oïjha uses her knowledge and skills to create Land Art both in the Antarctic and the Arctic. Influenced by Andy Goldsworthy, her art is a tool to promote environmental values as she organizes photographic exhibitions, publishes on the protection of the Cultural Heritage of Mankind (The Hague), and makes sculptures using natural and industrial materials. The colors of her paintings relate to polar environment and deep sea. She also uses pure gold leaves to play with the light and as a symbol of transcendence. In 2011, she is awarded "Talent of Contemporary Art" by the Research Center in Arts and Heritage Conservation, Toulon (France).

 

As a PhD, she continues to work with the administration of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF, Reunion Island) and cooperates with the French Polar Institute (IPEV), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Paris), the former Prime Minister, Ambassador for the Poles, late Mr Michel Rocard, the Secretariat for the Antarctic Treaty (Buenos Aires) and the Commission for the Conservation of Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR, Hobart). Art is nonetheless the core of her life. She joins several contemporary dance companies and develops a unique body language, directed by the choreographs F. Chedmail, C. Amato and T. Jourdain. She performs her own plays every year at the International Dance Festival of Reunion Island. In 2015, her exhibition "Dance on canvas" shows new paintings with large canvas on which the dancing body is used as a tool, after Yves Klein, but also with dripping movements after Jackson Pollock. In her studio, she builds big size canvas and includes natural elements to the large quantities of paint. The chromatics is polar and deep, the movement is minimalist, powerful and precise, the use of pure gold remains.

 

In 2016, she graduates from the School of High Studies in Sophrology (Paris) and explores the inter-related physical and spiritual dimensions of the human, following the perception "the body is the consciousness, the consciousness is the body". This intimate and transcendent approach gives birth to sculptures of human organs in state of ecstasy - like in her polar experience: in the nine sculptures of "Polar Adoration", the tissues, the members and the bones turn into gold and link the profane and sacred sides of the human. In this minimalist conception, the human being is no more than its vertical axis, a columns, a gold circle on the ground between Earth and sky, a door to the inner infinity of its own self. Oïjha redefines the concept of the human in time and space, melting altogether its energy and body, ready for an exploration in its infinite small parts - intracosmos - and infinite large universe - extracosmos. She goes into research, dance and painting with the objective of revealing the consciousness of being polar and organizes in 2017 with the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF) and the French Polar Institute (IPEV) the first exhibition in Adélie Land, Antarctica: "GAMMA - Growth of Antarctic Mindful Modern Art". She is finalist of the Berlin International Social Art Award 2017 for her Land Art work "Antarctic Consciousness", presenting a gold circle on a rock of Adelie Land. In 2018, she is selected to attend the residency "Artists in the Arctic" for her dance/painting project inspired by the northern lights: "Auroras Corpus".

 

She produces a complete body of work which demonstrates an overall signature with the "Oïjha's gesture": a unique, wide, powerful and precise movement in polar colors with pure gold. The use of large canvas enables an immediate dance expression and makes a link between the visible and the invisible, the energetic and the body. It deals with the universal intimacy, our common core as humans and the perpetual movement inherent to life. Her minimalist style enables the silence and the raise of what exists here and now, in solitude. As her art is about perceiving the infinity within two breaths and the enjoyment of senses, she gets inspiration from Marina Abramovic and Ma Liuming while performing contemporary dance plays.

 

For Oïjha, painting, creating Land Art and dancing all come from the same source and are translations of a same state of being. Following the iceberg symbol, she explores the link between the consciousness and the subconscious in many paintings, such as "Contact" where a thin layer of gold meets an immensity of undiscovered gold, her "Polar Selfies" as large paintings of dance on canvas, and her "Underneath" marine blue collection. Her femininity is expressed in a version of "The Origin of the World" after Gustave Courbet and Lucio Fontana, where a long cut in a red canvas is covered with gold. In many paintings, a gold circle represents the human consciousness in its vertical axis, the footprint of the link from the inner Earth to the universe through the human body. It is all together a door to the inner self and the outter space, as well as light turned into matter. After Pierre Soulages, Oïjha recalls that light comes from the abysses.

 

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