Self-portrait and Art therapy by Anik BOTTICHIO.
Self-portrait and Art therapy by Anik BOTTICHIO.

Self-portrait and Art therapy by Anik BOTTICHIO.

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An avid painter, Anik Bottichio began practising the plastic arts at secondary school before going on to perfect her skills at the Beaux Arts.

In 1992, she left her native Lorraine to settle in Bouches-du-Rhône. She improved her technique while endowing her painting with an as yet unexplored personal sensibility.

This new contribution to her pictorial approach led the artist to train in the knowledge and practices of art therapy, with the aim of providing patients with support in their individual reconstruction.

So, since 2009, Anik has been working as head of the art therapy workshop at the Maison de Santé Saint-Paul in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

I was born in Nancy in 1968.
Painting is a solution, when words are not enough, to hold on, to express my emotions, my pain, an attempt to clarify my relationship with life, with my personal history.

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I started my artistic training in secondary school, where I joined a Fine Arts section.
From the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Nancy to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts “Nicolas Untersteller” in Metz, I learnt and explored.
I moved to the south of France and spent a year at the Beaux-Arts d’Avignon in 1993.

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I work on canvas and paper, with white being very present. On canvas, I look for depths and transparencies to give relief to this non-colour, while when I work on paper I leave the white of the paper free to stand on its own. I’ve always worked on portraits, of female faces to whom I lend my emotions, like a mirror of my ‘soul’. Through them, I tell my own story and move forward; they have always been with me.
Recently, I’ve been collecting old family photo albums, a source of inspiration that leads me to delve into this family history, and allows me to question the family in its most universal sense, who these people are, what they have to say to us, to me….memory, traces of the past and of time….

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My work is very introspective, solitary, I talk about myself, my moods, no message, but I keep the secret hope that the emotions represented will echo the story of those who look at them, the intention of sharing.

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I use acrylic paint, walnut stain and Indian ink, and sometimes collage.
My colour palette is limited, white being the most prevalent.

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The ideal place would be a chapel, or a house with faded walls and old-fashioned wallpaper…

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I have a permanent exhibition in Saint Rémy de Provence in the gallery of the Saint Paul de Mausole cloister, on the Carré d’Artistes website and I exhibited for 3 months this year at the Le Local gallery in Nancy.

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My work has always been an outlet for questioning my personal life.
It naturally led me to art-therapy, as creating had enabled me to relieve my suffering and try to understand what was at stake for me in my history.
Today, I help and support people to get down to work and take back control of their speech through creation, reopening their ‘I’ space.
My creative work and my profession as a therapist are intrinsically linked.

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                                                                                            “US”, acrylic on canvas.

The translucent whiteness of the neck emerges from the black dress, overhung by a brown hairdo, with an indentation revealing part of the trunk and a face of disarming lucidity.
On the right of the composition, the furtive face of a man appears, like an apparition.
The idea of a kiss touches the visitor’s imagination.
The conception of the composition is quite simply masterly: a red zone in the centre of the canvas delimits two frames – an outer frame and an inner frame. The red area is actually on the inside, forming a second frame. The man’s face, barely sketched, is inside this frame. The woman’s face, radiating out into the space, dominates the outer area. Although they are close together, they belong to two different worlds.
The woman’s face is emphasised by a strong line to bring out its volume.

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                                                                                                       “A clear road at last”.
Here again, the subject is multiplied in a single image: the little girl watching the balloon take off, her body position conveying the expectation of something.
A newspaper headline: “Rêvons” (“Let’s dream”).
Finally, the pale colour, evoked by an excessively milky white, conveys the symbolism of innocence through its consistency.
The symbolism of the self plays a key role in the artist’s work.
One of these symbolic images is that of the square. The square within the square is like a set of Russian dolls, one fitted inside the other.
The square in its symbolic value is constantly printed towards the bottom of the canvases. Either it takes the form of six small cubes (like NOUS, mentioned above), combined with the artist’s signature (engraved vertically three times): the logo is inside each square.

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                                                                                                “A never-ending story,

also contains a red area within a square from which emerges the woman expressing some concern (position of the right hand in front of the mouth).

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