On the occasion of the temporary exhibition, Draw Me an Opinel, Amandine Soudan Lori, one of the 24 winners of the 2020 art competition, has spoken to us about her painting and her relationship.
Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
I graduated from ENAAI* in 2007 with a degree in applied Arts, specialized in animation and illustration. Afterwards, I worked as a 2D animator and illustrator of video games and E-learning. Today, I am self-employed. I paint on canvas, but also on watch dials for the High Horology. I really only started painting 3-4 years ago. Often, I reinterpret the masterpieces, either because they inspire me or because they hold special meaning to me.
*ENseignement aux Art Appliqués et à l'Image (Teaching of applied Arts and illustration based in Bourget-le-Lac, France].
How did you hear about the art competition?
I heard about it from my husband, the director of ENAAI*.
Why did you decide to participate?
Once again, it was my husband who encouraged me to take up this artistic challenge. I said to myself that this could be the starting point for a new, creative direction and a good personal experience. I knew that I would have to start from scratch, and I wanted to see how far I might go!
Could you describe your painting?
My painting is acrylic on canvas. The woman holds an Opinel N°8 in her right hand and signals the Opinel-logo with her left hand. In the up-left corner, there’s a kind of badge of the Savoy-region, symbolizing its origin. I have used a lot of colours to underline the dynamism of the brand that expands into new domains: from the small pocketknife to the table knife or the kitchen knife. The woman is rather impassive as I wanted her to be as discrete as possible: we see her, but the features she is showing us quickly attract our attention. The logo is represented as a sign, a symbol, a way of expression. Regarding the knife, it’s an Opinel N°8 because I consider it to be the Opinel knife and the reference of the brand and of its history!
Where did you get your inspiration?
I’m very influenced by nature and by Greek mythology. All these amazing civilizations represented spirituality, nature, and deities. I have therefore imagined the woman as a sort of goddess or muse for Opinel, a kind protector. I see her as a source of inspiration, calm, and grounded.
Do you remember your first Opinel knife?
I bought my first Opinel knife not so long ago, or rather… my two first Opinel knives! Two beautiful kitchen knives that I use daily.
If you had to choose only one Opinel knife, which would it be?
If I could only choose one it would be N°08 because it tells a story! When I see it, I automatically think of its creator, Joseph Opinel. He really has answered a universal need for functional and practical knives. Today, I also think about all the workers in the factory in Chambéry (France) producing these knives. This simple, artisan and traditional production inspire me to create – even if it’s in a very different area.
Opinel in three words?
Tradition, history, and craft.
Temporary exhibition: Draw Me an Opinel
July – August: 9 am to 6 pm non-stop, every day
September: 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Saturday
Exceptional opening on Sunday the 20th September from 9 am to 6 pm for the European Heritage Days.
Free entrance – no booking required
25, rue Jean Jaurès