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Complex of the "Rue du Tan" (Namur)

COMPLEX OF THE RUE DU TAN IN NAMUR
Cabinet of the Minister - Service of the Parliament of Wallonia

Following its implantation at Namur, the Région Wallonne assured to install its service in the new buildings intended for that purpose. Affecting the Cabinet de l'Economie (Cabinet of Economy) of the SMEs, of Research & New Technologies (Services of Walloon Parliament), the building in the Rue du Tan has been constructed with two different entrances, which run up to two symetrical halls.

It was during the month of December 1993 that the Walloon Commission of Arts has consulted two artists in order to submit several projects of artistic integration : the painter Béatrice Dooms (hall A) and the ceramist Bernard Thiran (hall B). They wanted to associate themselves with two other artists, with Jean-Marie Mathot (sculptor) and Filip Roland (archiscenographe), respectively..

 

Hall A : Béatrice Dooms et Jean-Marie Mathot :

« Quand la pierre rencontre la peinture »
   (when stone meets painting)

To join painting and sculpture in the same oeuvre, is not very common. And it becomes  even more rare if one knows that the oeuvre is born from to the collaboration between two artists who, till now, did never work together. Yet, it was exactly that which the Namur painter Béatrice Dooms immediately thought of when the Walloon Commission of Arts addressed her to concept the equipment of hall (A) of the first Rue du Tan building in Namur. The artist has then asked the sculptor Jean-Marie Mathot to think together with her about an project of artistic integration.

Together they thought to occupy a part of the wall with a triptycal painting framed by small granite whose form partly confirms the canvas. Or more exactly, one should write that the wavy lines of the stone match the movements of the painted persons on which they focus their attention. Certainly, the canvas is figurative. These are the human beings the visitor is surprised about at the moment when the sculptured 'doors' seem to close. But it's not a real figuration, because the linen bear apparent traces of painting strokes which don't have any referential function: The perceptible human forms dissolve in a hazy halo which eliminates the details to the disadvantage of the general physiognomy. The detailed juxtaposition of the colour layers, nearly translucent, permits Béatrice Dooms to put their characters in an evanescent atmosphere. She still prefers the expression of important items, such as the face, the eyes and the hands, by shining intensifications. A nimble way to say much by discretion.


© Y. Fonck


© Y. Fonck

Two other sculptures of Jean-Marie Mathot complete the ensemble. One near the elevators to receive the first look of the visitor, the other in front of the counter, composed of a circular motif crossed by a triangle. Their surfaces aren't uniform, they are crossed by scratched and carved lines, like crannied by a vital flow, by a nervous impulse which controls the coldness of geometry.

  

Hall B : Bernard Thiran et Filip Roland , le hall « baroque »
             (the baroque hall)

In the same way as Béatrice Dooms, the ceramist Bernard Thiran preferred to work together, in order to equipe the hall of the B building of the Rue du Tan real estate. He asked the 'archiscénographe' (a forged neologism to express a synthesis between scenography and architecture) from Namur, Filip Roland. But the result of this meeting is that one can impossibly determine who has done what. The two creators have, according to their unlimited imagination, invested a veritable amount of space, ending with the creation of a specific furniture with extravagant forms. So, the reception counter, the central piece of the scenographic disposition, is composed of a wooden structure, a small table of sheet metal falling on the ground and which two hollow ceramic rolls are hanging on. Their plunging movement is visually opposed by a shelve, put to the wall behind from where, this time, the little table is spinning towards the ceiling.


© Y. Fonck


© Y. Fonck


© Y. Fonck


© Y. Fonck

Several tactile and chromatic contrasts add to the formal dissonances which can be seen in the hall. The quadrangular shape of the room is split by an oblique line of ceramic tiles deliberately crackled which tear up the pavement of rose marble and blue stone before rising up along the wall. The seats made of wooden elements, sheet metal and ceramics still focus the visual attention and add their touch to the particular harmony born from the suprising confrontation of the forms with the unusual material. 

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