February 2019 2
L’école Chappe, in Saint-Etienne, France, is a school as well as a beautiful open gallery. The school has been inviting contemporary and urban artists for the past years to transform walls and rooms into artworks, as well as doing interactive workshops with the children and talks. The children from all levels study the artists’ techniques, styles and themes.
This year, the school is focusing on human rights and women who changed history. While the snow was falling, I created a large mural in the yard featuring portraits of defiant women: Malala Yousafzai, Rosa Parks and Kathrine Switzer.
“Defiance” – Zabou – 12x3m – Saint-Etienne, France – 2019
Photo credit: Zabou & RA2 (last 2 photos)
I’m very happy that my first mural of the year is located in my hometown, Saumur, in France. After an interview in a local magazine last year, people and organisations became aware of my work. Street art in Saumur is almost non-existent, most of the city centre is built with limestone making it difficult to paint. Moreover there haven’t been any push for urban projects to happen – until recently.
Emmaüs, a charity that celebrated its 70th anniversary this year, has invited me to paint a mural outside of their venue. The artwork depicts their founder, Abbé Pierre, a priest who fought all his life for social justice and solidarity, against exclusion and poverty. Based on a photo by M. Pelletier Decaux, the portrait shows Abbé Pierre with his famous white beard and square glasses, smiling and hopeful.
“Abbé Pierre” – Zabou – 4x5m – Saumur, France – 2019
Photo credit: Zabou