*300 copies limited edition* On Tsilla, Jean-Noël Rebilly and Andrew Chalk pay homage to the late French writer and engraver Cécile Reims. While she may be best known as interpretative engraver for surrealist artist Hans Bellmer, and she also worked with Leonor Fini and briefly for Salvador Dali, Reims’ most powerful and enduring works were made either in collaboration with her husband, the writer and artist Fred Deux (who signed their collaborative work “cf deux”), or by herself. Later works by Reims, like the L’Elan Vitale suite, or the Histoires Naturelles series, manifest denuded, obliterated landscapes; spiralling abstractions; engravings that shiver with an unearthly radiance, where etchings of great intricacy hint at intimacy and the velocity of rapture, before opening out to aching empty spaces.
The music on Tsilla is similarly evocative, a tender weaving of emotional complexity carved with the hand-held and simple tools of artisans. Much like Reims, Rebilly and Chalk enact a similar transfiguration of base materials. For Reims, natural order is made “more sinuous and curious through the rounded flow of her graver,” Kate McCrickard once noted. For Rebilly and Chalk, these seven pieces, cast under the shadow of a great artist, inhabit that sinuousness, and tease out the eternal flow of tone.