Catherine Morris: “After the Charlie Hebdo attack, I no longer know who I am”


Kathryn Morris would like to create a major comic book prize. Frederic Florin/AFP

interview An exhibition dedicated to the illustrator and comic book author opened Friday in Strasbourg as part of the Illustration meetings highlighting female artists. The chance to return to the fate of the first comic author elected to the Academy of Fine Arts.

Entitled “Katherine Morris. Une place à soi”, a reference to the work of Virginia Woolf, the exhibition opened Friday in Strasbourg at the Tomi Ungerer Museum – International Center for Illustration as part of illustrative encounters highlighting women artists. A chance to go back into the career of this 43-year-old mischievous artist and her relationship with the arts and nature.

Catherine Morris “A painter who has already made a name for herself, she is a figurehead for this event which aims to feature these painters”Morgan Magnin, curator of this exhibition, which runs until September 3, explained to AFP.

The first female cartoonist to join the editorial board of a magazine Charlie Hebdo At the age of 25, she has now left cartooning for journalism and produces colorful, poetic and humorous illustrations for magazines such as Zadig or Journal philosophywhile releasing his own albums. “At Charlie, we were drawing like crazy every day, and today the drawing is slowing down.”She explained during the opening, that the first comic book author to be elected to the Academy of Fine Arts.

the Figaro. – How did you find your place in a very masculine environment?

Kathryn Myers. – I didn’t necessarily have a very precise idea of ​​what I wanted to do, I first studied literature before attending two art schools in Paris, the École Estienne and the Arts Deco. When I left these schools, I discovered the cartoon of journalism and returned to it Charlie Hebdo Where I worked for a little over ten years. They who came for me, I don’t think I would have dared knock on a door Charlie, I was too shy for that… When I walked in, I remember jumping for joy, saying to myself: There, I have my job! It was the first time I felt like there was a place to be made and I made it. It was easy because there was a benevolent atmosphere, smart, open-minded and educational people. narrowAnd capo They were glad that a woman had come along, and they couldn’t understand why there weren’t more women in the press’s cartoons.

with your works like My men of letters or Arts Bridge Are you trying to build bridges between artists, writers, and your readers?

I make this bridge first for me. I collect all these great artists and writers, and some of them impress me, until they stop scaring me. I also put them together because I love them dearly, and pay tribute to them. A lot of times I don’t care, but it’s also a way of expressing my love for them. I totally need to nourish myself with all the art, it really makes me tick.

What is your relationship to nature, another strong theme in your work?

I grew up in the countryside in western France. Old dry stone walls, trees, seasons… all of this has been so familiar to me since I was a kid and I think it really shaped a state of mind, a sense of observation that is at the very heart of my life. Profession and still serve me. Observation is like gymnastics, you have to practice it: you must not lose sight of it! Today, unfortunately, the connection with nature is often interrupted. I live in the city but as soon as I find this link I feel like my life is getting bigger. My life, my sight, my senses, everything gets better and makes me want to continue painting.

Why create a character in your image in Lightness ?

Lightness Closely related to the attack on Charlie Hebdo. After that breakup, in January 2015, I no longer knew who I was and I had to represent myself, paint myself, to prove to myself that I wasn’t dead with my friends. The search for beauty also appeared for vital reasons. and lo Lightness It’s also an album with a sense of humor, I took seriously everything that could give me life. I also represent myself in the following albums: The great outdoors And The girl and the sea. These books make up a trilogy that is not programmed but follows my inner and personal journey. Who am I after this disaster? Are you still able to draw? From where he came ? in The great outdoors, I’m talking about my childhood. and with The girl and the sea I wonder what I can save before the disaster strikes, this time it’s normal. These three books evoke loss, the loss of people we love, and landscapes we love.

What are your plans today?

After a team meeting CharlieI met another company, a company of academics and academics which is equally interesting, in another genre … In January, Emmanuel Gebert (cartoonist and screenwriter for comics, Editor’s notelisten)) was elected to the academy. We could both act out the comics better. What would be nice is to create a comic book jackpot. There are so many things to do and we have all the time because we have all the life!



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