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After the exhibition Femmes en regard in 2021, which brought together 14 acclaimed women photographers, the Maison Guerlain fell in love with photographer Charlotte Abramow and offered her a solo exhibition in 2022. Thus, she documented the (free) beekeeping training sessions received by seven women as part of the “Women for Bees” program in partnership with UNESCO and under the sponsorship of Angelina Jolie last summer. With her committed eye, her open-minded aesthetic and her affirmed activism, Charlotte Abramow produced Piquées at the age of 28. This is an exhibition speaking of the relation of these women with bees but also of the parallels between those two, of sisterhood and the role of bees in our lives. She set her benevolent and inquiring gaze on this subject to tell us a unique story binding women and bees through a series of embroidered photographs symbolizing this invisible bond. Charlotte Abramow also wanted to show the fragility of bees which are endangered. Their disappearance would be a tragedy for humanity as their contribution to pollination is essential. Guerlain had already created “Women for Bees”, a partnership with UNESCO to support women taking care of bees. By increasing it with “Women for Art”, Guerlain also wishes to support its aim to promote an art which is committed to the protection of our biodiversity. More than ever, Guerlain’s commitments to women, art and protecting the Earth are intended to be long term and without any compromise. Piquées sublimates all its actions to offer us a unique and conscious vision. A role that art has never ceased to play within Maison Guerlain.

A Story of Women and Bees

During the summer of 2021, Charlotte Abramow took a series of photographs with a group of seven women who were trained as beekeepers as part of the “Women for Bees” program. The exhibition narrates a unique experience lived by Aggelina, Charlotte, Dorothée, Léopoldine, Lorène, Maël and Oriane.

On her way to the OFA, Charlotte Abramow found a sorority of “women who were able to establish close ties with each other”. Totally immersed, she discovered “a parallel between a group of women and a group of bees at the service of nature, balance and the renewal of life.”

During these few days spent alongside the beekeepers, Charlotte captured some precious moments of exchange, mutual aid and complicity. Like in a matriarchal society, the bond uniting each woman is very powerful and omnipresent. This very strong relationship between women, bees and nature reflected in her photographic series.

For the exhibition Piquées, Charlotte imagined a delicate embroidery work with the Baqué Molinié atelier which has been collaborating with the Maison Guerlain for many years. Each print was embroidered by hand in their Parisian atelier. Bees and golden threads punctuate the prints in a poetic way. The embroidery materializes this invisible and yet palpable bond that was tied throughout the training. The embroiderer’s needle becomes a metaphor for the work of the bee, which is just as meticulous. “They are stung by curiosity, concentration and the stings of the bees who lose their lives. The prints of the exhibition are also stung by the needles of a seamstress. I express these bonds between them, between the bees, between humans and nature, and even between them and me, by this thread the prints are embroidered by. This meeting with the beekeepers raised awareness about the need to protect these fragile ecosystems: “I saw the already present effects of global warming. Drought, extreme conditions, fewer bees, little honey… I felt this tension and this anxiety and I would like to transcribe it to take alarm. Bees as pillars of the environment are an emergency.” The exhibition will also provide an opportunity to give voice to several inspiring women (beekeepers, scientists, personalities committed to the protection of bees…) through a cycle of two conferences.

photographs by Charlotte ABRAMOW

From 22/04/2022 to 22/07/2022
68 avenue des Champs-Elysées
75008 PARIS

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