What is your connection to Provence?
I was born in Marseille, in France’s most ancient quarter known as "Le Panier". Today, I live and work in the "Cité Radieuse" designed by Le Corbusier. Born into a family of fishermen, I spent my childhood between land and sea. I had to "sail away" for professional reasons, but after more than 15 years in Paris, I needed to return to my native city, to be closer to its sun-drenched nature and life.
I love Provence, its diversity and contrasts, from the Camargue to the Luberon, from its snowy heights to its flowery plains. When I think of it, I think of sublime skies in every season, and a sea of intense blue.
How does Provence influence your creativity?
Colorful and rich in symbols, Provence inspires me a lot by the beauty of its flora and fauna. Its scents, colors, and materials – without forgetting its history – all nourish my creativity.
Marseille especially, with its 2,600 years of history and rebellions, counts since the dawn of time many female models. There is even a dictionary of revolutionary women of Marseille! Some of my "couture" collections consist of timeless pieces, for those glamorous amazons of yesterday and today.
Why did you choose "Gerri's" as a defining element for your brand?
It was during a Land Art1 project in Luberon, inspired by that master of the discipline Andy Goldsworthy, for which I painted and planted female bodies, that a Gerris2 appeared before me, gliding across the water with ease.
This is where this piece was born, a twining piece that follows the contours of the body in a perfect dance, like a second skin. A piece of jewelry, calculated on the basis of the golden ratio (1.618...), that magnifies the sensuality of forms, and whose chain lengths offer endless combinations.
What do you want to express through your creations?
I am a rebel in my field: I analyze, I recycle, I reappropriate... I love playing audaciously on the proportions and contrasts of materials, depending on what is available to me at a given moment. I shake up conventions, subvert the codes, clash cultures, exaggerate proportions, and contrast materials... to create timeless pieces.
1. Movement in contemporary art consisting of working in and on nature.
2. A small insect, similar to a spider, having the ability to move on water. Valerie Ciccarelli has appropriated the name in the form of "Gerri's" to describe some of her jewels with a similar shape.