Marie-Hélène Massé-Bersani, Mobilier national, at the Maison d'Exceptions show 1/2

(English subtitles available)

“I am Marie-Hélène Massé-Bersani and I work for Mobilier national. I am the director of productions in Gobelins, Beauvais, Savonnerie and of the lace workshops in Alençon and Puy.

We practice several techniques, including flat-point for tapestry and mural-work, which is also good for bags – such as those presented in 2011 at the first edition of Maison d’Exceptions. We showed handbags produced with flat-point tapestry work. For these we use two different savoir-faire whose results are the same but whose processes are completely different: one technique with treadle looms and another with tapestry looms.

When we talk about tapestry there is a tendency to imagine that we work in the same way as in the time of the Lady and the Unicorn. But tapestry is not only a technique, an expertise dating to the 16th century – or even before – and the 17th century, in the case of France and its royal manufacturers. It is also a meeting between an artist, who writes a score, and the weavers, who will interpret this.

Today, as in the time of Louis XIV, we only produce contemporary art. That is to say that we use a traditional technique in the service of the artists of our time. Under Louis XIV, we produced for Louis XIV; in the 21st century, we produce for Mabille, for Alain Séchas, for Jacques Vieille, for Ghislaine Portalis, for Anne Deguelle, for Jean-Luc Parant. These artists who see the world as it is today.”