Beyond The Silent World,
Reaching Through Visions of The Seine
Claude Domec 1902 -1981
Au-dela du monde silencieux,
Atteindre les visions de la Seine.
Translated from the French as found in Les Cahiers bleus. printemps -ete 81.
Published by centre culture Thibaud de Champagne
Maison du Boulanger rue Champeaux 10000 Troyes, France
Translation by Irene F. Sullivan with the supervision of Emmanuelle Pourroy
Wind’s Edge Studio
Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado
Translation copyright: Irene F. Sullivan
All rights reserved. 2018
…a translation issues from the original—not so much from its life as from its afterlife. —Walter Benjamin
The translation from French to English of this extensive interview1 given by the painter Claude Domec in 1976 to Ghislaine de la Villeguerin and Guy Beaumont shares his wonders, humility, and studio practices. Claude Domec’s voice and insights are a jewel of clarity in the cacophony of the contemporary art scene today. At times, I have thought of this project as the translation of a Buddhist Terma. Terma are texts of teachings literally meaning “treasure” intended for troubled times as a source of renewed wisdom and blessings.
I was first introduced to Claude Domec’s work by his granddaughter, Mathilde Rousseau Domec on a warm September evening in 2017 in the village of Marnay-sur-Seine, France. The passion and dedication of this artist’s vision was palpable in the room. His paintings, 36 years after his death were whispering their mystery in translucent colors. Claude Domec used bee’s wax as medium in his painting as did I. But, as I was to discover latter, he used it in a very different way, a way known only to him, his greatest secret. The paintings were filled with trees and rivers, and vegetal beings. Skies unfolded in translucent color holding mythical creatures and life forms of the imagination. It was the translucency and unpredictablity of the paintings that had me spell bound. That evening will never leave me.
Upon my return to the United States, I set out to find out all that I could about Claude Domec. After a long search, I was able to obtain a copy of this interview and a catalogue of his works held in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Dijon, France.