ASHES | Gagnieu & Prat

08-07 | 01-08-2021, PontArte, Maastricht, NL23-10 | 23-11- 2021La Destil.leria, Mataró, ES

 ASHES is the title of a cross over project between Séverine Gagnieu and Marc Prat at PontArte gallery in Maastricht (Netherlands) and La Destil.leria in Mataró (Spain)

Two years ago the artists met for the first time in Maastricht (NL).

By seeing the work of Gagnieu at the Grafisch Atelier, where Marc Prat was working on his Bull screen prints series, a photograph of a Sadhu struck him. This work, made by Séverine Gagnieu resulted in a conversation between the 2 artists. About 20 years ago both visited India and became interested in understanding the culture of the Sadhu’s (holy men in Hinduism). Gagnieu has visited and photographed India many times after. Prat has developed his Kashi series based on his travel in 2003.

Both artists do feel the need to capture the raw spirituality from this group using different media. By combining the photographic works by Gagnieu and the paintings by Prat they have created ASHES. An exhibition that will be presented in July 2021 at PontArte, Maastricht and will be shown as a project in October/November at La Destil.leria Gallery in Mataró. This creates a cross over between artists, places and galleries, which we find very interesting.

The selected works really capture the spirit of the Sadhu’s. Looking at their work you are triggered to meditate and feel the peacefulness and meditative state that the Sadhu’s try to achieve.

As part of the project the artists will host a number of events in the gallery on the 8th, 9th and 10th of July. If you would like to join, book your slot here


Also named Vibhuti or Bhasma, the sacred ashes play a major role in many rituals of the Hinduism.
They are made from burnt dried wood, burnt cow dung or even collected from the cremated bodies.

After consecration, the ashes are then used as marks on the foreheads or other parts of the body. It’s believed to give protection and to help on the path to enlightenment.
A particular group, the sadhus, are making widely use of it. Sadhus, are the holy men of Hinduism and considered as the representants of god on earth.
Living in renunciation, they stay away from the material world, and live an ascetic life regulated by rituals and strict practice to achieve enlightenment. During special rituals and days and being fully naked, some sadhus, will cover their entire body with the ashes as a reminder of the temporary nature of the human form and earthly possessions.

Some sadhus will even use the ashes collected from the cremated bodies, remembering that nothing is eternal and all will be reduced to ashes in the end. The ashes are worn as their only clothing and is a clear reference to their vow of poverty.