Jérôme Souillot is a visual artist and scenographer, who lives and works in Toulouse. He graduated from the National School of Art and Design in Pau with the degree in Art and Communication.
One part of his artistic creation belongs to drawing, which is usually characterized by simple and minimalist gestures. Sketchy design meets the creative principle and content, because the image is merely a code for its interpretation, a trigger that opens up various possibilities of understanding or stimulates imagination. Contours, either black or coloured, are sharp and clear, and approaching the observer at a symbolic level. Unlike the drawings, the artistʾs scenographic work is (when it comes to ways of expression) more luxurious, colourful and loquacious. It is characterized by a combination of different approaches and techniques, but despite the large contrast in comparison with the drawings, it also works on a symbolic level and requires decoding to understand the whole.
During his visit to Maribor, the artist continued working on his already existing graphic performance ʺLe Dessinantʺ (The one who draws). Sitting at the table, the artist is offering consultations. Participants are asked to entrust him with some intimate secret, memory, dream, or an object that has a special meaning for them. He then uses this ʺmaterialʺ to draw a picture in 15 minutes. The resulting drawing materializes the exchange between two people. A special object only two people hold the key to. The artist never reveals the object of consultation. Over the past year more than 400 drawings were created following this principle. In Maribor, the artist set up his consultation area in the GuestRoomMaribor gallery's 'shop window', where he received his guests with a drink and music for relaxation. First, he listened carefully to the individual guest's story. Afterwards he isolated himself, and transformed this story into a visual image, which he then transferred onto paper. Each drawing was dated, and marked with the name of the person that “gave” him the material for it. The drawings are full of symbolism, and only the artist and the individual guest know the story behind it.
This makes it mysterious, and immensely appealing for the audience member, who will inevitably try to unravel the mystery. The symbolism of the images allows for many different interpretations, but the real secret / story is coded in such a way, that it stays hidden, and no 'unauthorized' person can ever fully unravel its mystery.
The drawings were presented as part of the Call me Human Torch exhibition in the GuestRoomMaribor Gallery, which Jérôme prepared together with Emma Bell.
Text: Maja Pardeilhan