Caleme or Caroline Le Meur, is a French artist who was born in Alsace and grew up immersed in the world of paper since the family business involved selling paper. She began her artistic career as a fresco painter.
Caleme then went to live in China where she enriched her artistic techniques, in particular learning the paper cutting arts from masters of the traditional techniques. She developed a veritable passion for this material, a love and fascination for everything about paper: how it is made, the arts of cutting and folding it. She also participated in the setting up of a school of applied arts, LISAA.
Currently, Caleme is based in Morocco, living near Rabat and drawing the inspiration for her creations from the country’s soul. She is a member of the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists (IAPMA).
“A medium for reflection, paper naturally conforms to every requirement. At once the memory and beginning of every project, this humble material possesses an organic structure that renders it intelligent and sensual. Its apparent fragility serves only its delicacy, whereas, if it is treated well, it ages so beautifully. Every sheet of paper has a soul: the soul of the person who has lived, loved and dreamed with it.”
© Caleme – Cercles de Lumière, 60 x 80 cm, gouache and graphite on cut Velin d’ARCHES® paper.
Special hanging of sheets of Velin d’ARCHES® to highlight its deckle edges and natural lightness.
© Caleme – Berger Tepenek, pencil and watercolour on Velin d’ARCHES®.
Caleme’s creative process
“The common thread running through my reflections as an artist is the observation of nature and the laws that animate the world’s shapes. What I try to do is render the movement of life through an imaginary representation drawn towards lightness. And so, in the plastic dimension of my work, I question the limits and possible interactions between living things. Playing on opposing forces, I strive to fix scenes in an equilibrium where light participates in the expression of a dynamic.”
The use of 100% long-fibre cotton paper, Velin d’ARCHES® as her main medium was an obvious choice for Caroline thanks to its resistance close to that of fabric and the way it catches the light. She combines different techniques, applying inks, gouache, pencil or watercolours to the paper, which is also sculpted and modelled to give the work a delicate, airy volume.
“I like to mix these paper volumes with flat graphic effects as well as a few touches of colour to bring out the vibrancy of the ambient purity, whilst creating a rhythm and a story.
The multiplicity of forms and textures offered by these combinations opens up a vast field of possibilities in a dimension situated somewhere between the ephemeral and the eternal.”
© Caleme – Osmose, 160 x 160 cm, wall-mounted sculpture on Velin d’ARCHES® on a wooden canvas frame.
Dear Artists, in Morocco ARCHES® papers are available from the following stockists:
MAARIF ART, 97 rue Atlas Maarif, 20100 CASABLANCA, Tel. 05-22-98-70-54
FORTIN SELECT, 5 rue de Damas (behind Hôtel Balima), 10000 RABAT, Tel. 05-37-70-84-14
BENZEKRI DISTRIBUTION, Mag N°2 Imm N°15 rue Bucarest Ocean, 11000 RABAT, Tel. 05-37-70-60-05
L’ART DALI, 98 bis Bd Jamal Abdennacer Al Massira, 80000 AGADIR, Tel. 06-64-88-96-55
CHATR ART, 19-17 rue Mohamed El Bequal-Guéliz, 40000 MARRAKECH, Tel. 0524-44-73-48/52
ARTE MANUAL, 16 avenue Moulay Abdeslam, 93020 TETOUAN, Tel. 05-39-70-27-24
COLOR 4 YOU, Angle rue N°2 et Bd Kadi Ayad El Bahia Hay El Qods Sidi Bernoussi, 20250 CASABLANCA, Tel. 05-22-73-48-48