David Balade also proposes the setting of exhibition (transport, setting and presentation) from series of works ready to hang. Usually, these exhibitions consist of a set of illlustrations accompanied by their respective commentary, as well as educational texts presenting the origins and the symbolic of the topic. These exhibitions can be conferences, drawing workshops or storytelling in connection with the theme.
Anne de Bretagne, Queen of the triple crown
Couronnée duchesse de Bretagne en 1489, à la mort de son père François II, c’est une Anne âgée de douze ans qui affronte les conflits d’un Moyen Âge finissant. Sait-elle qu’elle est promise à un grand destin ?
Dix huit textes et dix-huit tableaux retracent ici l’éclosion de cette enfant en souveraine courageuse, vertueuse et déterminée qui fit, sa vie durant, de la protection de la Bretagne son combat.
Texte : Yveline Féray – Illustrations : David Balade
The wooing of Etaine
The Wooing of Etain is one of the most fascinating Irish medieval legends. It s known to us thanks to old Gaelic compilations like the 12th century” book of the black cow” or the book of Lecan, 1318 . This legend, which is part of the Irish mythological cycle, describes the unconditional love of Midir, lord of Brig Leith’s mound for Étain: the most beautiful woman of Ireland, whose name means “poetry” and who will be changed into a red insect. The story reminds of the universal theme of the reciprocal attraction between the lord of the shadows and a luminous woman, as in the myths of Eros and Psyche, Hades and Persephone, or the tale of Beauty and the Beast.
Inspired by traditional Celtic motifs, and fluid lines of art nouveau, David Balade offers a series of 20 illustrations for this tale, using gouaches, pastels and ink on paper, as well as digital creations incorporating original drawings…
Beautiful celtic legends
After the end of the eighteenth century, European scholars have drawn what is now called Celtic mythology. From ancient classical narratives, Irish, Welsh and French medieval literary sources were extracted different mythemes and characters considered now as typically Celtic.
Inspired by the motifs of the finest insular illuminated books of the Middle Ages, as well as compositions of the Golden Age of illustration, David Balade offers various illustrations of these Celtic legends, some of them never illustrated yet, using gold leaf, gouaches, pastels and ink on paper.
Dans le vaste répertoire graphique des formes celtiques, les spirales et motifs curvilignes occupent une place de choix : bijoux, revers de miroirs, fourreaux d’épée, et autres boucliers de l’Antiquité, pierres gravées et livres enluminés du haut Moyen Âge témoignent ainis de cette omniprésence de la spirale dans l’histoire de l’art celtique. Parmi ces formes spiralées, le triskel -symbole constitué de trois branches spiralées tournoyant autour d’un point fixe- apparaît comme une spécificité du graphisme celtique, au point d’avoir été tout désigné comme symbole identitaire des Celtes.
S’inspirant de ces formes spiralées celtiques traditionnelles, ainsi que des motifs de la nature, David Balade explore depuis 2008 les possibilités graphiques de la spirale et du triskel sur petits et moyens formats avec feuille d’or, encre, gouache et aquarelle sur papier. Sur de très grands formats, il pratique également la technique de l’acrylique sur toile.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a 14th century English novel. Its manuscript is kept at the British Library, London. The story, considered as one of the first tales of modern English literature, describes how Gawain, knight at the Camelot Court, after cutting the head of the Green Knight, accept to have his own head cut on his turn by the surviving giant knight, one year later in a green chapel.
David Balade created a series of 12 illustrations of this tale, using gouaches, pastels and ink on paper. The artist represents the character of the Green Knight, as a synthesis of the medieval figures of the green man and the masters of the wild creatures of the various Indo-European traditions.
The tale of the Bamboo cutter/ Taketori monogatari
The tale of the Bamboo Cutter is said to be one of the oldest traditional Japanese tales. His first surviving written version dates back to the beginning of the Heian era, during the 9th century, considered as the golden age of imperial Japanese culture. The tale relates how the radiant princess Kaguya Hime, raised by a poor bamboo cutter, escapes the wooing of the Emperor before elucidating the mystery of her origins.
Inspired by two great principles of Japanese aesthetics crystallized during the Heian era, like the yugen (deep sensitivity to the unspeakable mystery of the Universe) and the mono no aware (melancholy before the impermanence of things), David Balade created a series of 15 illustrations of this tale, using the technique of japanese watercolors mizu enogu, as well as gouaches and pastels on paper.
In Japanese, kurage means jellyfish. The two ideograms that compose the name could be read as the mother 母 of water 水. As in a poetic inversion, the living being turns out to be the origin of its own biotope. Physiologically, the jellyfish is barely distinguishable from the acquean element : jellyfishes are actually composed of 98% water. When they appeared 500 million years ago, the jellyfish kept the original spherical shape of the primordial cells , and were the first creatures to develop forms of eyes.
Inspired by these primordial organisms that fascinated him for years, David Balade has been exploring since 2012 the multiple graphic possibilities of jellyfish, in a series of small and medium-sized works entitled Kurage (gouaches, ink, watercolors and silver sheets on paper ).