Born in 1965 – lives and works in Olivet (Loiret)
“Power is simplicity.”
Mane Phély was born in Nogent-sur-Seine, in north-central France. From a young age, contact with nature has been the source of her creative process. From this physical contact with the earth and the organic world which surrounds her stems her profound urge to create, her desire to mould matter with her own hands, to interact with and transform it.
This creative impulse has accompanied her throughout life. In parallel to her professional career, she took up sculpture, first with clay and plaster, then she learned the techniques of moulding, and wax and bronze sculpture by working in an art foundry in Tourrettes-sur-Loup.
2014 marked a turning point in her artistic development. She joined an artist’s residency at the Espace Solidor (Cagnes-sur-Mer), dedicated to contemporary jewellery. It was there that she discovered a humble and discreet medium, and made it her primary raw material for her art : cardboard. She gradually came to discover the extent of its robustness, its plasticity, and its complexity. In her workshop in the French Riviera, Mane Phély refined her artistic process and perfected her technique. In 2017, she joined the Métiers d’Arts boutique “La Créative” in Biot, and then opened her workshop – boutique in 2018. The same year, she exhibited at the Kultur Reverenz gallery in Basel. Drawing on the techniques she acquired through jewellery making, she started creating unique pieces, elegant sculptural jewellery she called her “wearable sculptures”.
Mane Phély left the artist’s residency in 2019. She moved to Olivet, in the department of the Loiret, and her work has since entered a new phase. She is currently working on series of large-scale wall sculptures, evocative of the natural world which inspires her : ancestral geological formations, an exuberant plant world caught up in the endless cycle of life – volcanic landscapes – mysterious forests – vernal vegetation.