From 2017, at the invitation of the Biennale de Lyon and Veduta, the municipalities of Lyon 7, Givors, Rillieux-la-Pape, Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-d'Or and Vaulx-en-Velin are host to the Eau de Rose (Rosewater) project to be spread across Greater Lyon.
Damask rose bushes sponsored and planted in unexpected spaces of their district by local inhabitants; petals harvested and then distilled to extract the rose water; shared moments of construction followed by moments for celebration : since 2013, French artist Thierry Boutonnier’s project has taken root and grown in Greater Lyon, with help from the MJC Laënnec-Mermoz (Lyon 8).
The artist invites long-term residents and newcomers alike to adopt a shared approach to transplanting rose bushes in the heart of a number of developing neighbourhoods. In a cooperative impulse to construct the way these communities are seen, Eau de Rose gives people a different take on their day-to-day environment, as they come together in the shared and festive ritual of growing Damask roses.
Thierry Boutonnier develops artistic processes that focus on the environment and its challenges (climate change, erosion of biodiversity, the effects of globalisation, etc.). These processes involve principles of cooperation which give rise to actions and objects that function interdependently with ecosystems (areas of urban renewal, waste lands) and involve local inhabitants, landscapers and researchers... the aim being to create sustainable places of life together.
In the 7th arrondissement of Lyon, the artwork Eau de Rose is hosted by the Factatory, a group of artists’, architects’ and designers’ studios connected to the Galerie Tator, which is also in Résonance of the Biennale de Lyon..
The Eau de Rose project is being carried out in partnership with Tarvel, landscape gardeners.
Thierry Boutonnier, Eau de Rose, 2013-2017. Plantation in Rillieux-la-Pape, district of the Semailles, March 2017 ©Blandine Soulage