Meeting with Gaelle, from her studio ‘’The Octopus’’
Gaelle Gonzalez is the mastermind behind the impressive ‘’Octopus’’ of Beau Plan’s Creative Park… What, you don’t already know the “Octopus”? Hurry up to read this interview: Gaelle tells you everything!
Gaelle, who are you?
I was born in Mauritius. After a childhood filled with travel, I found in photography a way to reach out to others, to discover the world and to commit to my principles
My first years as a photographer were mainly ruled by social and documentary style reporting. I then spent more than ten enriching years in Paris – I then felt the need to come back to my native island. I returned, then left for a two-year trip to sail. I (finally) set up my tripod in Mauritius two years ago!
Why “The Octopus”?
We are drowning in an ocean of digital images. But for a photographer, the printing process is an essential outcome of his work. A strong connection is created between the photographer and the process. There is listening… magic. This is why I wanted to create a long-term project for, and with, artists. A project that has been created to meet their needs.
The Octopus is the little name I gave to the very high-tech printer that is at the origin of this adventure. I have a very strong bond with it. Its particularity is that it uses pigment ink: thanks to this, it allows the use of certain types of paper while retaining all the specificities of fine art printing – which is also called giclée printing… And giclée printing means it basically squirts, kind of like an octopus! Mylove for the deep blue sea, and above all my fascination for this phenomenally intelligent marine animal, reinforced my choice for this name, for my printing studio. This is how The Octopus was born!
(Besides, who hasn’t seen My Octopus Teacher?!)
So, tell us everything: what do we find there?
We respond to all printing projects, whether for demanding artists or the general public. Our different papers adapt to all budgets, with our main aim being: quality above all.
We also have a sales and exhibition space where we highlight talented Mauritian artists. It is, finally, a meeting place between the artists who come for their prints, and the individuals who come to see the works present in the studio. We work hard here, but we also chat a lot, we drink coffee and we listen to good music… so come pay us a visit.
Your best projects so far?
The year ended on a high note with the LABA exhibition, which we organized at the end of December. This is an artistic encounter between photographer Keivan Cadinouche and plastic artist painter Dévid, on which we worked together for months. This is also Octopus’ desire: to be able to accompany and support artistic projects!
There are so many highlights in our business. These are daily emotions… People come to print their wedding photos, but also the portrait of a loved one who has just passed.. What we do is very personal, the relationship with others is essential.
To conclude, tell us: what’s new in 2022?
We are currently working on two new concepts: an “artist box”, and a “light box”… I will tell you more about it very soon. In any case, one thing is certain: the ink at The Octopus will keep flowing!
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