Lise MAZO, sister, sculpteur and painter

 

« You cannot create if you do not love »

 

Consecrated life and sculpture, art and faith: the two are not incompatible

and Sister Lise Mazo witnesses to that in her numerous works of art,

created to beautify our churches.

Notably those of St Guénolé, at Concarneau and St Alor, at Quimper.

At 17 rue Magenta, in the town centre of Rennes, you will find a building just a bit different, with a contemporary look to it. It is the provincial house of the sisters of Kermaria, also known by the name of “The Daughters of Jesus”.

Lise Mazo

 

Lise mazoIn the depths of the basement, invisible from the outside, there lies hidden an artist’s studio, lit from above by a well of light. It’s there that one of the sisters of the house, Lise Mazo, gives herself over to her favourite passion: sculpture and painting. Even if the studio is well-proportioned, the space is so filled that you have to pick your way between the works of art that cover the floor space. Pastels in fresh and warm colours, vigorous drawings that breathe the joy of life.

« I’m an optimist by nature », says Lise with a large smile and real happiness in her regard. As a young girl, modelling was already her first passion. “Even before the age of 10, at Kersouron, my parents’ farm at Pouldreuzic, you would often find me making mud to create little figures that I left to dry in the sun. At school too, I loved drawing and colouring.”

With the passage of time, this awakening creativity could have faded away. But that would be without taking into account Lise’s determined character and the fine discernment of the sisters in charge of her formation. Wanting to develop the aptitudes and talents of an artist in the making, they ensured she had a solid artistic education.

 

Lise mazo  sculptures.jpg 04

Appointed as teacher at Quimper, she got to know an artist friend of the community: Mr de Bie. Sent subsequently to Ploërmel, she continued her formation with the Rennes painter, Pierre Gilles. In 1965, another lover of art, Anne-Marie le Thiec, (who would become for several years a delegate of the Commission of Sacred Art for the diocese of Vannes) joined her in enrolling in the Rennes Art School. The sculpture teacher, Francis Pellerin, remarked on the quality of Lise’s work and asked her to become his assistant. An initiative that her superiors accepted positively.

 

Beautifying our churches

To explain the confidence placed in this project, Lise highlights the characteristics of the period. “We were in a period where the Church, in the light of Vatican II, was entering a time of renewal. Initiatives were undertaken that were sometimes daring .” That was how Lise and Anne-Marie came to take off their veils in order to enrol in class. Older than the rest of the students, they elicited a certain curiosity. “You know they’re sisters,” they said. “But the old clichés soon melted away”.

Lise mazo Tabernacles Lise has precious memories of her four years of studies, of rich and true encounters. Encounters which she would subsequently pursue when, diploma in hand, she in turn taught modelling and sculpture in the same school.

“I remember,” she says, “how open and dynamic the Art School students were, in search of the ideal. Art School is not easy, it’s exacting. In order to succeed, each student knows that he or she must look for the truth, for depth. That demands being true to yourself, developing Lise mazoyour interior life. If they were sometimes fantasists on the surface, I often found they were in search of spirituality and authenticity. During the classes, even while we were working, discussions would go on full-force, sometimes around questions of a metaphysical nature. The arts professions are a school of life. You cannot create if you do not love. It’s a prerequisite if you want to advance, to find yourself and discover your personal expression.”

 

Lise MazoIn retirement since 1996, Sister Lise has not put down her chisel. The Sacred Art Commissions call upon her. Her studio is full of scale models of altars, lecterns and tabernacles that adorn our churches.

 

« An artist’s dream, she says is to have a work in a museum.

For me, a church is the most beautiful of museums.

Article taken from « The Church in Finistère” no 175

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

En retraite depuis 1996, sœur Lise n’a pas déposé le burin. Les commissions d’Art Sacré la sollicitent. Son atelier est riche de maquettes d’autels, d’ambons et de tabernacles qui viennent décorer nos églises.

In retirement since 1996, Sister Lise has not put down her chisel. The Sacred Art Commissions call upon her. Her studio is full of scale models of altars, lecterns and tabernacles that adorn our churches.

Dans le Finistère, l’église Saint-Guénolé de Concarneau et l’église Saint-Alor d’Ergué-Armel (Quimper) lui doivent leur mobilier.

In Finistère, the church of Saint Guénolé at Concarneau and the church of Saint Alor at Ergué-Armel (Quimper) owe their furnishings to her.

 

« Le rêve d’un artiste, dit-elle, c’est d’avoir une œuvre au musée.

Pour moi, une église, c’est le plus beau des musées. »

« An artist’s dream, she says is to have a work in a museum.

For me, a church is the most beautiful of museums.

Article tiré de « Eglise en Finistère » n°175

Article taken from « The Church in Finistère” no 175

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