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© John Paul Sparrow
© John Paul Sparrow
© John Paul Sparrow
© John Paul Sparrow
© Wolfgang Bieck

Michel Gressier

Michel Gressier Kite maker
Contact
French
Hours:
By appointment only
Phone:
+33 607097466
© John Paul Sparrow

Harnassing the wind

  • • Kites are Michel’s way of putting colour into space
  • • He has worked for numerous festivals around the world
  • • He has three workshops, the first being opened in 1981

Michel Gressier exhibits his paintings in the sky, he creates impressive kites in vibrant colours, undertaking a true dialogue with space: “I am very seriously doing something completely derisory.” After graduating from the Beaux-Arts, Michel pursued his studies at the Ecole Boulle in Paris, where learning about materials and their implementation proved to be a real eye-opener. He has since been exploring his quest of the occupation of space. Fascinated by the changes that distance creates in the reading of his paintings, Michel exploits the wind. He uses its variations along with the ever-changing light as his exposition gallery. The “bowls” are his signature kites; round in shape, he imagined them to catch the eye of the spectator.

Read the full interview

Works

  • © Wolfgang Bieck
  • © Teophil Lemaitre
  • © Wolfgang Bieck
  • © Pierre Lesage
  • © Bertrand Heckly
Photo: © Wolfgang Bieck
Circolong kite

An exception in Michel Gressier's collection, this cylindrical kite has not been painted. Shadows of two turtle kites – made by Bruno Cocandeau – are projected onto the piece, which has a total length of 7.5m and a diameter of 4.75m. The take-off was achieved with an installation of two rotating "Helix Flowers" inside the structure.

Length 750 cm
Diameter 475 cm

Photo: © Teophil Lemaitre
OctoPlan 'Ramages' kite

This painted cellular kite, is an OctoPlan – instead of the more established “HexaPlan” – structure. The decoration has been processed with painting and an application of gold leaf on a small varnish. The two sides have been painted with different patterns in order to play on the transparencies and to create interesting depths. The projected shadows of the surfaces between them reveal new and changing geometries.

Diameter 230 cm
Depth 100 cm

Photo: © Wolfgang Bieck
Group flight

This group flight was performed by combining two types of kites, the cellular and the flats ones. For Michel Gressier, the "Multifaceted" kites evoke lamps and magic lanterns. He creates them in different heights to make them fly in a group. They easily withstand the strong winds. The two "Simple Square" kites are a way for Michel Gressier to work on vertical paintings, which evolve into colourful variations.

Height 308 cm
Diameter 117 cm
Height 365 cm

Photo: © Pierre Lesage
Rosace 1:2 kite

With a diameter of 2.55m, this cellular kite has the shape of a rosette. It has been designed to fly in pairs with reversed colours. The manufacturing process of this kite is particularly long due to the edging applied to all parts of the sails. Being very stable, the “Rosace” – or Rose Window – kite likes steady winds. inside the structure.

Diameter 255 cm
Depth 116 cm

Photo: © Bertrand Heckly
Renifleur de Thermique, No. 3 and 4

With a wingspan of 2.45m, this kite, which translates as "Thermal Sniffer" is based on the original design by Jörg Rüther & Hennes Kurbjuhe. The final aesthetics and structure were modified in order to get closer to the design of Otto Lilenthal's planes. From the slightest breeze to the strongest breeze, the kite's flight was exceptional.

Diameter 245 cm
Height 215 cm

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