Over the last several years Nathalie Maranda has focussed on a humanist and committed approach to painting which is meant to rouse social consciousness. Her most recent series of works, Le cantique des créatures is a noteworthy expression of this intention. This group of paintings is, in the very least, a denunciation of the destruction of the environment, constantly threatened, as it is, by the carelessness of humans. Referring to a decline in humanity, this recent production evokes in a veiled fashion the harmonious world of St-Francis of Assisi expressed in the celebrated Fioretti, small poetic masterpieces written by the saint to the glory of the creatures of God. Ecologist avant la lettre, forerunner in the domain of protection and conservation of all species, he would be a witness, were he alive today, of a nature defaced by the seemingly boundless arrogance of mankind.
Since her professional debut in 1990, the human condition has been an essential component of her formal preoccupations and of her creative process. It is therefore not surprising to find a humanistic core to her work. Sustained by rhythms that are complementary or contrasting (or both) the act of painting finds its niche within the normative opposition between figuration and abstraction. Unfurled in diptychs, triptychs or polyptics, her very particular treatment of the painterly matter is the guiding principle that runs through her successive works. Warm ochres, earthy browns, the richness and the sensuality of varied textures, all appeal to the spectator’s wish to entertain a dialogue with matter itself. Her themes are of a thought-provoking nature though not at the expense of emotion, intelligence and reflection all the while leaving enough room for the senses. Their aesthetic aspect therefore remains integral.