Inspired by nature, her creations bring a poetic touch to an interior. Her unique pieces are keenly sought-after by collectors, and, fully aware of her appeal, Aline Chastel exhibits her works in her gallery. By Eric Jansen
Furnishings exhibited by Aline Chastel are generally the work of Jean Royère, Serge Roche or Jean-Charles Moreux. With the exception of Marianna Kennedy, contemporary creation is not represented in the gallery. But love at first sight can suddenly turn things upside down. “I was enchanted by Joy's dream world,” she says. No wonder: Joy de Rohan Chabot could well be a fairy. She has the kindness, the delicacy and above all a magic wand that brings a sparkle to everyday life. At her side life seems serene, harmonious and irrepressibly cheerful. Nature is her universe and, like a fairy, she would appear to have emerged from a forest. It comes as no surprise to see that her studio in Auvergne is surrounded by trees... Her Pansy chairs, Owl lanterns, Lizard mirrors and Elf stools are original creations evocative of reinvented, joyful and poetic nature. Many remember the 150 butterflies that settled on Haroue Castle’s facade and courtyard during an exhibition in 2014. All were handmade by the artist. Sadly even magic has its limits: behind each piece is hours and hours of meticulous work. Joy cuts and paints the sheets of metal, saws the wood and polishes the glass. “I’m an artist, not a designer. And I make sculptures, not furniture”, she adds with a smile. As demand continues to increase her workload has become particularly demanding. “Though I should be able to delegate, I don’t find it easy.”
Success has blossomed since her 1990 Bagatelle exhibition introduced the general public to her work. When she entered art school at the age of seventeen, Joy began painting in the traditional way before going to China to learn the lacquer technique “to make Dunand-style screens.” She was subsequently hired by Régine to decorate her nightclubs! Orders from Texas and Japan flowed in, and she started working on pieces for Lanvin. The 100,000 visitors to the Bagatelle Orangery made her famous. Doris Brynner, charged with Dior’s home department, one day bought a salad bowl, and subsequently ordered table sets and Papillon candle stands. “A relationship that lasted over twenty years.” Since Cordelia de Castellane succeeded Doris orders have kept coming: Milly-la-Foret mirrors, Muguet vases, and twice yearly, a 24-piece dinner service sold as a work of art. “The last was named Monsieur Dior's Garden.” Need it be said, this summer the little fairy has been very busy as she also had to complete fifteen pieces which had been promised to Aline Chastel. With pedestal tables in the shape of tree trunks, candelabras adorned with leaves, and a vase decorated with snakes, the exhibition is entitled “The Dream Catcher”... “Because each object is an invitation to look behind the mirror.” Joy in Wonderland.
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