“She had been carved as an Angel, in the traditional manner, and fastened snugly to the bowsprit. Her eyes, lips, hands and her full, naked breasts embodied the soul of her ship, went forth before all else, parted the seas before the ship and protected the crew. She was its spirit, but the ship was her body; its sails her true wings, caressed always by the strong and callused hands of the crew…”
And so it begins… the adventure, the relationship of the Feminine to the Sea. In her childhood, Erica Chappuis was regaled with tales of her sea-faring grandfather, so that the very sink in which her father shaved and the little bottle at the side with the ship pictured on it became the images she internalized – the sea on which a man traveled and then returned. Her parents had emigrated from Liverpool – which Carl Jung once called “the pool of life”. It was certainly true in her life from her earliest memories.
Little did she know how deep those sea-faring roots ran. In her family research she discovered a sea captain and many, many sailors. Slowly the development of a vocabulary of the Age of Sail and Woman began to emerge and thus was born the series of paintings that explores these archetypes. In these paintings she explores the sense of adventure so readily available to young men in those days, which in fact defined masculinity and which in her paintings she claims for herself.
Erica Chappuis has exhibited in numerous galleries and received awards. Her artist’s book illustrating Subcomandante Marcos’ story, “The Cave of Desire” is in the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C., and also in the Museum of Erotic Art in Barcelona, Spain and the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
Chappuis lives and works on an island between two countries.
"A woman studies her charts, making ready to set sail once again. She will sail the world for impossible blue roses. Her ship embarks from the compass of her heart. The winds are favorable..."