Sybille Friedel

Born in Paris, Sybille Friedel, after various training courses – drawing, sculpture, painting – executed Born Born in Paris, Sybille Friedel, after various training courses – drawing, sculpture, painting – executed watercolours on vellum at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, before discovering calligraphy with the Korean master Ung-No Lee.

After this apprenticeship in calligraphy and numerous trips to China, Korea and Japan, but also to Lebanon and Africa, Sybille Friedel was able to synthesize an ancestral art from the East and the Western pictorial tradition that was her whole culture. Close to nature and a great lover of gardens, she is imbued with a place that she lived in and defended for many years, the Larchant marsh, a nature reserve in the Ile de France.

Today, Sybille Friedel goes from music to calligraphy, from calligraphy to sculpture, from sculpture to drawing, to painting without even realising it, in her luminous workshop in Pernes-les-Fontaines in the Vaucluse, an old barn renovated in 2013, under the reassuring boughs of a majestic three-hundred-year-old plane tree.

The Sound Forest

The artist wanted to invest the new area of the abbey gardens which will open this season: the botanical path. Installed in the most intimate and secluded space of the gardens, The Forest of Sounds is deserved and is only open to the most daring visitors.

Long iron reeds (sledgehammers) stand out against the panorama of the large terraces. Visual as well as sound cues when the mistral wind makes these metal strands sing, announcing the new path. “My sculpture work was inspired by the sound vibrations heard and perceived in the park. “I wanted to invite the visitors to walk in a space where stems are tinkling in the wind, but also where everyone can play and improvise their music,” explains the artist who has long been lulled by the murmur of the Larchant marsh in Ile-de-France. 

About twenty sculptures punctuate the botanical path starting from the large terraces on the Mont Ventoux side, each one sounds different according to its size and construction.

When the gesture becomes space

Chinese calligraphy is a music, a rhythm, a breathing, a writing that listens to the world. “To arrive at the simplicity of a single brushstroke: the mind is deeply concentrated, above all the rules, it is also a philosophy”. 

“I plunged into the technique of Chinese calligraphy, without lifting the brush for ten years. Like a musician, I went to the end of my apprenticeship, to the point where one can finally forget the technique “. Since then, calligraphy has been the watermark of all his work. “Grammar and space” of this artist who can alternate between Chinese ink on rice paper and the design of wooden furniture, without forgetting sculpture or welding for her latest sound installation: The forest of sounds.

Sybille also masters the ultimate stage of marouflage. Sticking the rice paper on more rigid canvases (the Chinese tradition is to use silk, here more cotton or tightly woven linen), an indispensable flattening to make light and shadows burst forth. This delicate step can be done with four hands depending on the size of the paperwork of all his work. “Grammar and space” of this artist who can alternate between Chinese ink on rice paper and the design of wooden furniture, without forgetting sculpture or welding for her latest sound installation: The forest of sounds.