Anne Emmanuelle Marpeau lives in an old boatyard on France’s Breton coast. Her art brings to life stories, paintings, and photographs she has collected. In 1997 she visited Maine and became fascinated with stories of its coast. Using only traditional materials, she carves her boats, rocks, people’s heads and many other details from wood. Bodies are made from tightly rolled fabric and ocean forms are made from old-fashioned window plaster.
As a child, Anne spent much of her summers in Brittany, France with a taciturn grandfather who made his living as a lobsterman and who was a member of the life-saving crew – until he lost his leg. When she first started making shadow boxes, she imagined the stories he would have told her, had he been talkative.
Anne- Emmanuelle’s work have been featured retrospectives in museums in; France, Switzerland (Geneva Lake yachts and working boats ) and Maine, USA. Her most favorite show, however, was not in a museum (although organized by a museum), it took place on a boat! For three days it cruised among the islands of the Penobscot Bay in Maine. Each shadow box told stories that once happened on and around the islands where they stopped.
For 16 years, Anne and her family often cruised on their traditional tuna-fishing sail boat. Her newest boat is a Norwegian Faëring and is moored in a creek near her small house.