Blagnac is an idyllic town in the south of France, in Occitania. It is a quiet, residential suburb of Toulouse, but it is here that the largest aerospace corporation in the world, Airbus, has its headquarters.
I was invited to Blagnac by curator Maud Denjean. On the occasion of a solo exhibition of my paintings in the Odyssud cultural center, I was also asked to make two murals on the building of the city hall.
The city authorities suggested a project referring to the ancient symbol of the region – the Cross of Occitania, also known as the Cross of Toulouse or (incorrectly) the Cross of the Cathars. It is a symbol used in these areas for over a thousand years, in the Middle Ages it was the coat of arms of the St-Gilles family, Counts of Toulouse. Today it can be found everywhere – in the official symbols of local government bodies, on flags, it is engraved on the walls of houses, forged in iron on bridge balustrades, printed on postcards. It is used to mark the local subway, it is worn as jewelry, sold as souvenirs for tourists, it can be found on walls as graffiti. Some believe that the origin of the Toulouse cross is pre-Christian, initially it may have been a solar wheel with twelve rays. The numbers 3, 4 and 12 are traditionally inscribed in this symbol.
In my project, I decided to break this rhythm by deconstructing the symbol, adding new elements to it, creating a new division and new symmetries. The numbers that describe my project are 4, 5, 8 and 20. The pattern of the mural was inspired by lace technique called tatting. The works lasted 10 days, the weather for May and this region was surprisingly cool and rainy.
Many thanks to the city of Blagnac and the Odyssud team, especially Maud O’Jeanson, for making this project possible.