A blend of glass and wood by Tony Boyer and Fabienne Sanka

The artist Tony Boyer. Photo: Évelyne Chaville

As part of the “World Kréyol Art Festival” is organized on the first floor of the Pavillon de la Ville in Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe) an exhibition of works of art in wood and glass imagined by two artists : Tony Boyer and Fabienne Sanka. They wanted to sublimate these two materials, in their own way.

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Some artists had surely dreamed of it, Tony Boyer and Fabienne Sanka did it. This is the original blend of glass and wood. Indeed, as part of the World Kréyol Art Festival, from May 3 to 25, two exhibitions take place at the Pavillon de la Ville near the Place de la Victoire in Pointe-à-Pitre : one is an exhibition of paintings by graffiti artists, on the ground floor ; the other is an exhibition of works and installations in wood and glass with wooden design furniture, on the first floor. Everybody does not expect to see this sculpture work in a festival dedicated to street art but Tony Boyer said : “Al Pacman, the organizer of the World Kréyol Art Festival wanted to integrate visual artists to the event, open it to other artistic disciplines”. Several local woods such as mahogany, pear tree (Pyrus communis), saman (Samanea saman), seaside grape tree (Coccoloba uvifera) and driftwood were used to create these works. It must be said that Tony Boyer who works with a woodcutter from Morne-à-l’Eau knows the local species because, before becoming a sculptor and plastic artist, he was a cabinetmaker, carpenter and joiner. “I had my first experience with wood when I was about twenty. I fell in love with a sculptor’s studio in Martinique, so I was trained as a craftsman to learn about the fields of wooworking, he said.

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Two complementary artists

In 2004, the 41-year-old Guadeloupean craftsman decided to become an painter and he first had a preference for abstraction and then for representation mixed with abstraction. “I discovered that I had more the soul of an artist than a craftsman. Today, I became an abstract painter and a representational sculptor. It is a mixture of both. But cabinetmaking is for me a passion even if I have been an artist for fifteen years and it’s good to have more than one string to one’s bow. I do not forget fitting and sometimes people ask me for a few pieces of furniture. For example, recently, a lady came to see me because she wants to fit out her brasserie. These people are looking for the artistic touch and the traditional touch, he said. It took 3 months of hard work to build this exhibition and create about thirty pieces and installations that compose it.

As for Fabienne Sanka, Tony Boyer’s companion for five years now, she worked exclusively the broken glass that she glued with a special resin. This 46-year-old artist, rather discreet, studied art and design in Saint-Étienne, in France. “Unlike me who must try, rebuild, take down before achieving a satisfactory result, Fabienne has a fait view and a great artistic capacity. For this common work, I brought the material, the tools and my manual side as a craftsman she does not have. We talked a lot to be coordinated. Fabienne also has an independent temperament”, said Tony Boyer who, for this exhibition, worked wood especially with his chainsaw and glass.

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An artists’ house open to the public

Through this exhibition, the two artists also wanted to highlight the recycling of materials, a necessity in our current society : “before I bought a lot of materials, today, it’s different, for example, I salvage driftwood. We cannot imagine the tippers of things that industrialists throw every day in the dustbin! That’s where we took the broken glass”, said the artist.

For some time, the couple of artists began the fitting out of its house located in Bazin in the town of Les Abymes to open it in 2020 to the public. “It will be an house with an artists’ studio and a showroom, that represents almost 500 m2. I think people also want to know the artists in the environment where they live, talk with them and sometimes they provide us elements, observations that we do not see ; bonds of friendship are also created. The artists that we are will be pleased to welcome them at home. Fabienne painted a lot and I have many paintings too ; we are living among paintings. The public will see them as well as all our other works”, Tony Boyer explained. In addition, it will be an opportunity for Tony and Fabienne to have a more regular contact with the public. “It is true that to create, we have to isolate ourselves, we can stay two months or more without seeing anyone. When we take the work out of our studio, there is suspense, stress and the eyes of others that we have to know how to manage ; sometimes the audience pass in front of a work without seeing it (…)”, the artist said.

In the meantime, visitors are invited to go to the Pavillon de la Ville until May 25 to see and buy these new works designed by two artists who complement each other perfectly.