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Artistic crush : meet Véronique Buyer, printmaker based in Rennes (East of France, Brittany)

Updated: Aug 15, 2021

The “fête de l'estampe” happens online also! I interviewed Véronique Buyer, whose work I adore. I hope you will share my enthusiasm!

This interview was conducted in French. I am responsible for its English version.

Lino block carved by Véronique Buyer

Thank you Véronique for agreeing to this interview! It is “fête de l’estampe” here in France. It is a major printfest : I am very happy to have a good reason to ask a few questions to you and have the opportunity to know more about your artistic journey! I love your printed work about the experience of maternity ; it resonates with me as a woman and as a mother.

- Thank you Florence for having invited me to talk about our shared passion.

- How did you first encounter printmaking?

- I have an artistic practice in various domains for quite a long time and printmaking is a very recent discovery. I was not really interested before discovering Morgane Chouin’s work. I immediately loved her work and could not resist buying one of her prints, which I am now happy to contemplate each morning, on the wall facing my bed!

The experience of closely watching a print, with its very specific texture, made me desire to try by myself. It was a revelation!

- Printmaking is diverse. Which is your preferred technique and what do you like in this technique?

- I have never carved anything else than lino (natural or synthetic), yet. I would love to try other techniques but I do not have enough time.

I think that what appeals to me the most in printmaking is the dialogue between drawing and sculpture (my main art form before discovering printmaking). I love the physical contact with the material when carving as much as the manual printing process.

- What are your sources of inspiration?

- My main source of inspiration is without doubt my own experience of maternity. I have a 2 years old little girl. This major change in my life gives me a lot of subject matter and the desire to express myself on the subject.

When I became a mother, I discovered how much what can be considered as banal is in reality exceptional, powerful.

It seems to me that the power of mothers is not acknowledged in our society and needs to be put into light. I try to contribute to this in my work. Furthermore, the process of becoming a mother (and what is more of a little girl) has strengthened my commitment to feminism, which is the counterpart of my exploration of maternity. Women and mothers are at the very heart of my work.

- At the moment your work seems solely in print. In your creative process, how do you develop your ideas?

- There is always an initial drawing in my sketchbook. The process can take some time into print or embroidery but is rooted into the initial sketch.

I have put embroidery to the side at the moment. However I am currently working on a new project mixing print and stitches. I hope to be able to disclose it soon!

- What about colour in print? It seems you are currently exploring this aspect.

- I tend to print in black, the colour of my initial sketches. However as you have noticed, this spring I have had the desire for more colour.

I enjoy exploring all the opportunities colours offer in terms of expression. To print a design in a different colour, as I have recently done, profoundly transforms the feelings and also often reveals unseen aspects of the design. It is thrilling.

- What does printmaking represent in your life today?

- Printmaking is a new form of expression, absolutely essential for me today.

It is also at the heart of a professional change since after having trained as an architect and having taught at university, I am now officially and exclusively a full time artist.

- Have you formulated wishes for yourself concerning the pursuit of your artistic career?

- I hope to be able to develop Véronique Buyer Créations and train myself in other techniques that appeal to me such as wood printing, printing on fabric, collage, etc.

- You have an online shop. What do your collectors tell you about their prints ?

- Most of the time it is about the emotion aroused by my prints and that makes me very happy.

My prints are always rooted in an initial emotion and when this emotion travels to its recipient I feel I have achieved something satisfying.

- Do you exhibit your prints in exhibitions, fairs ?

- Not at the moment alas. Recently a lot of events have been cancelled. I hope that when the situation goes back to normal I will have the pleasure to talk to art lovers and be able to showcase my work other than online.

- It seems to me that when one sees one of your prints one wishes to talk about one's own experience of maternity…

- As a matter of fact it is quite frequent that I am told how much a print revivifies recollections of giving birth, breast feeding, etc. Rarely however do I gather individual stories. I think I quite like that what happens in reaction to my work stays an intimate experience. Although I would love being told… I have already thought of including words into my prints, my words. It is a long term project!

- Thank you very much for having played at Meet the maker with me!

- Thanks again for this nice conversation!


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