For several years now, many scientific branches (neurology, genetics, psychiatry, sociology, economy..) have focused on happiness and, to be more exact, subjective wellbeing. This is said to increase life expectancy, improve health and promote altruism.
Even if the state of Bhoutan has made happiness a national priority, it can’t be governed by a law. To reach this state is a complex process and relies on a number of parameters. These can be genetic, environmental, social, moral, psychological or sensory. Optimists and pessimists find happiness in very different ways and with a varying degree of ease. Happiness is subjective.
In his book De l’art du Bonheur, the psychiatrist Christophe André explains that ‘theories about first impressions reveal that there are times in one’s life which favour certain learning patterns. Languages for example : if we have heard them early on in life and repeatedly, later acquisition will be easier. In the same way, the language of happiness is more accessible if it was used in early childhood. What if the state of happiness as an adult was the same ? If the happy moments of childhood allowed us to then enjoy all the forms of happiness in later life? These precocious and indescribable impressions are at the heart of our future aptitude for a feeling of wellbeing, enabling us to be happy.
Finding happiness is perhaps just a question of recovering the original feeling from our memories.
Sandrine Morilleau’s work reflects this search for happiness. Her pieces are not meant to provoke profound thought, they are not assertive or educational. They are there to stir up ancient emotions, a deeply buried memory, a lost feeling. They are there to offer a breath of fresh air, a glimpse of happiness.
From the farm where she grew up, Hélène, Sandrine’s grandmother, had retained her love of simple pleasures, growing vegetables, making jams from her orchard fruit and looking after her smallholding.
Nearly ten years ago, some oxidised grey slates that Sandrine found by chance at a supplier’s, made her think of her grandmother’s red chickens and of the joy of going into the chicken-house as a young girl to feed them and gather the eggs. This was the starting point for her sculptures.
After five years of studying geography and cartography, followed by four years working for the CNRS but with limited scope for career advancement, Sandrine decided to go back to her first love : artistic creation. Through mosaics she would discover and exploit her fertile imagination, already evident as a young child.
In 2007, she spent five months training and discovered 3D mosaics. With a desire to be recognised professionally, she applied to be one of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, receiving her diploma in 2011 after some 1000 hours’ work.
When wellbeing rhymes with colouring…
Sandrine’s passion for colour started early when she received a box of Caran d’Ache crayons which she carefully colour graded. During her training and the work she did to become a MOF, she discovered the colours of Murano glass. From that moment, her playing field became infinite and she excitedly started using them in her sculptures, as cameos or to create contrast. For the last six years she has worked on her own inimitable technique and style. Each piece that comes out of her workshop is like a child – unique.
Paradise is here and now.
« Right from when I was a little girl, I have always been convinced, and never waivered, in believing that, as Christophe André said, ‘Paradise is here and now.’ Despite the challenges, each day is an open door to happiness, you just need to open yours eyes and see the world around you. I have always let my imagination run riot and am filled with joy at the idea of creating something new. My desire is to communicate at least a part if not all of this burst of happiness that I feel each time I create one of my sculptures. »