The theme of this exhibition grew in my mind from my most recent journeys to India, over the last two years, it was that of the sacred, almost always connected with water, the primordial element which underlies creation myths. I followed the courses of the main sacred rivers of India, the Ganges from the sources to Kolkata, the Yamuna, the Narmada, the Cauvery in Tamil Nadu…and I spent hours observing water rituals, always fascinating to me. To do that,I covered thousands of kilometres, in crowded buses, in excruciatingly slow trains, on foot or improvised means of transport, so I naturally faced a reality that had nothing to do with the theme, but was still as fascinating to me. A powerful aesthetic fascination which I still tend to express - searching for some geometry interrupted by vital movements.
Claude Renault's work comes from a love and passion for Indian people and culture – he is the traveller with a cause – he aims to show us the positive qualities of a more traditional India – but he doesn’t ignore the urban, he is not immune to the distressing, or ignorant of the natural beauty of this amazing country. In full, his work combines these other elements as backdrops to the capture of people with whom he has often quickly formed a true rapport….but it is the people who are paramount.
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