"I CREATE. I DO IT FOR A LIVING, BUT MAINLY TO BE ALIVE."
Caroline Dahyot (born in 1968) grew up in the countryside near Paris. During her childhood, Caroline described herself as being extremely shy and reserved, thus concentrating on her interest and attention in her own internal processes. She had a broad unconditional love towards animals and nature, and enjoyed continuous visits to museums in the company of her mother and grandmother. At age 18, she began attending art school in the same city that saw her grow up. Caroline Dahyot worked for three consecutive years at Beaubourg's museum. Every painting hanged on the wall made her extremely happy. Each painting was and still is, in one way or another, contributors of her artistic vision.
Caroline Dahyot is an artist of dream figures and unconscious processes, which is nourished by her interest in occultism and white magic. Creating her own cosmological esoteric-system delivered to visions that she captures in her drawings, dolls and tapestries. In them, you can find personal objects such as hair, amulets, jewelry, picturesque strings and beams- all, serving as protection spells. Throughout her lifetime, her work has been exhibited in both galleries and museums around Canada, Belgium, and France.
"Art itself is a philosophy; it allows us to immerse ourselves freely in our own identities, and in our own pace."
Q. Do you remember the first piece of art you made? What was it and how old were you?
A. In elementary school I drew a girl. I was six years old at the time and dyslexic. Everyone found it nice. I understood at that moment I could finally express my emotions in a certain way. I felt great being able to succeed somewhere. Hence, since that moment I’ve never stopped drawing.
Q. What does your work aim to say?
A. My dolls and tapestries are Spells of white magic, with the purpose to heal my constant fear of losing my purpose. In my drawings, I draw the ones I love, and in it we’re fine even if chaos surrounds us. I create to evoke my balance and my stability. And it is reflected inside my own house, it is my amulet of protection.
Q. Who are your biggest influences?
A. I love Frida Khalo, Jean Dubuffet, African Art, Chaissac. I love religious Art, even though I am not religious.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. I always wanted to become a mother; therefore, I find happiness in the company of my children. To me that is success. Creating art, it's another way where I find constant success. Doing what I love is my success.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. It can be a lonely road at times. But I savor and enjoy my hours of freedom and solitude in order to create. I counteract it by gathering with people often.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. That art itself is a philosophy; it allows us to immerse ourselves freely in our own identities, and in our own pace. You see, I struggle with constraints. Therefore, I spend my days creating because it does me good, but if one day it does me no good then I will stop.
Q. Apart from making art, what do you love doing?
A. I like to be with my children (they are grown up), my friends, and dance. I also make music without knowing how to make music... I do an hour of sports also every morning. I share a lot with my cats. My life has become quite simple, but I give myself little time outside of creation. I also love to be in love.....
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A. Back in art school years, Maryse Eloy (the director), always used to say, we should not put limits on art because we already had enough in everyday life—and I quite agree.