Led by the Office for Economic Development of the Occitanie Region, ten craftsmen are taking part this week at the Révélations Biennale in Paris. A showcase for a sector that represents more than 4,000 holders of sometimes ancestral know-how.
Originally from Martres-Tolosane (Haute-Garonne), one of the emblematic places of crafts in Franceby his famous pottery, Carole Delga is sensitive to handmade objects. She dresses very often by coordinating her clothes and accessories from designer brands. The President of the Occitanie region, who is also a label made in Occitania has made it possible to mobilize direct help for these craftsmen and offers them a showcase at the Révélations biennale.
Ten exhibitors from Occitanie under 450 present at the biennale
Sculptor, bronzière, gilder botanist, ceramist, mosaicist… Occitanie crafts will be present at the Révélations fair, from June 8 to 12, in the short-lived Grand Palais in Paris, one of the most popular† For this 5th edition, an unmissable event for crafts and creation, the economic development agency Ad’Occ is organizing the Occitanie pavilion with ten craftsmen. Among the 450 exhibitors, the Occitanie region presents, on an area of more than 50 square meters, a delegation of ten craftsmen selected by the jury of the Ateliers d’Art de France.
Showcase of our region’s know-how
At the end of 2018, the Occitanie region created a grant that can be mobilized by craftsmen to develop their activities, participate in trade fairs, buy equipment… Furthermore, Carole Delga offered a showcase of our know-how through some of they participate in the international biennale of Révélations. Between thirty and forty countries are represented there. After the 2019 edition, the 2021 edition was postponed due to a health crisis. The ten participants were chosen after a call for registration. These apply to the site of art workshops of France, the biggest in the business organizing this show. This display case, which is invaluable, has a cost: a stand of 50 m2, bare, costs € 30,000.
“We had a lot of outages…”
“We had a lot of repercussions after the first participation, explains Olivia Pérez, project manager for the arts and crafts sector at Ad’Occ. Three of the twelve participating in 2019 sold pieces: one exhibitor exported to the US; another, from Hérault, Sabine Fillit – who will return with us this year – had won a contract with Vinci for paintings to decorate the company’s premises, etc. Others had custom orders. However, the benefits are usually not always immediate. That often only happens years later.”
Draft professional contracts, even though I also like public feedback on my work…”
Visual artist working in Montpellier, Sabine Fillit was part of the delegation in 2019. This exhibition of “quality” spends talents. “These days take place in prestigious locations with a very meticulous scenography. This allows me to sign professional contracts, even though I would like public feedback on my work…” What struck her: “On the first day I sold a triptych of slate paintings.” She was also noticed by a Vinci Immobilier architect for whom she supplied ten bas-reliefs to decorate six rooms of the company’s buildings in Seine-et-Marne.
This sale represents a year and a half of my turnover!”
This represents “enough to have fun without worrying too much about tomorrow: that’s ten months of my turnover!”, says Sabine Fillit, holder of a BTS in interior architecture and a diploma from the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris.
Because the crafts are subject to an existential paradox: they sometimes represent an ancestral know-how that contributes to the image and prestige of France, but few allow you to pay yourself a decent salary. † “It is precisely this type of fair that makes it possible to put the craftsmen in the spotlight”, underlines de Montpellier and adds: “I have always had a small income. I can live on that…” Craftsmen have a hard time, as Dis-Leur explained to you HERE.
Noted report of a deputy of Hérault
The crafts are praised by the public who flock to their workshops in the summer. Unique know-how in the world with nuggets like the Tuffery jeans in Lozère or the Forge de Laguiole. But the sector, badly organized, neglected, struggles to survive. This is the meaning of a well-known report by LaRem deputy to Hérault, Philippe Huppé, who continues to offer the government his solutions to get out of the rut.
Architecture and Gardens; furnishing and decoration; lamp ; jewelry store † jewelry; silversmiths and watchmaking; metal; ceramics; glass and crystal; fashion ; textile; leather ; spectacle; toys etc The 281 artistic and heritage professions, according to the official nomenclature, are the poor relations of the French genius. The Occitanie region even paid them an envelope of 200,000 euros. And, given the urgency, the Prime Minister instructed a LaRem deputy from Hérault, Philippe Huppé, former assistant to Georges Frêche, to conduct an audit and propose solutions. Twenty-two, to be exact.
It’s also a “Cultural issue…”
Cabinet maker, Pierre Caruana say nothing else. Member of Ateliers d’art de France, de Héraultais, living in Popian, 40 km from Montpellier, takes two to three months to build a room, dresser, desk, etc. “Forced to sell between $5,000 and $15,000. Living off my job is more than complicated, he says. Income issue, that’s very difficult.” For him, if abroad, his counterparts sell”easier, it is a “matter of culture. And then you need a good network. Personally, I work a lot with galleries; directly with the individual, it is rare”. As for his participation in this biennale, “the only show I attend; it is the best”.
4,000 artisans in Occitania
There are about four thousand craftsmen in Occitania. Crafts are represented by 281 activities, listed in sixteen areas. “We have a lot of ceramics, glass, jewelry and wood in the area.” Fabienne Fabre, she has her studio in Crès (Hérault). It is the first time that she participates in Révélations. She says : “I’m in because selling in France, unlike abroad, is miserable for me… So I want to make myself better known in France.” Another good reason to make Revelations.
Read more Tell them!
Carole Delga: “Vote for the Occitanie product party!”
Weakened sector: the crafts want to keep people dreaming
Heritage: “Trade of excellence, the soul of our France, in peril!”
Métiers d’art: How to save a know-how unique in the world