2024 ROUGE, femme

« ROUGE, femme »

Art exploration by Nadette Charlet

at 8 COWS GALLERY, Allihies, Co. Cork, Ireland

Summer 2024

Artist petite histoire and statement, June 2024…


« ROUGE, femme » marks a turning point in my creative career…

Almost 9 months since the beginning of this new art exploration, and today I feel ready to unveil, not a new baby, but definitely something that grew deep inside me …

I started this new work at the international artists residency last November, in Rajasthan. It was the beginning of a 6 months trip in India, over the 2023/2024 winter.

I had no project, had no idea of what I was going to draw or paint . I was in the middle of nowhere, in the Rajasthani semi-desert, sand, bushes, a few trees, wild nature, lots of colourful birds, wild boars and antelopes, a few fields of peanuts, cumin, or marigolds, and 3 other artists. The nearest village was a 2 km walk, a traditional, unspoiled village.

All I knew was I wanted to paint something different, something bigger, try some portraits maybe, and feel free to let my hands create whatever the present moment was bringing me.

The very first day, my artist companions and myself decided that we were there to have fun and we agreed to create and explore no matter the results. That was an excellent starting point. We got on very well, and were for each other a flowing and reliable source of inspiration and motivation. We became good friends.

From that first day I felt at home at « Farm studio », in the perfect environment to let go of any worries and to welcome playfully this moment of time where nothing at all came before my thirst to create. A precious feeling… I opened the doors of my heart and happily started to play the game without fear or constraints.

I stayed in a traditional Indian farmhouse, sharing a bathroom with a lovely local family. My room, on the first floor, was spacious and full of light, with a terrasse (for my yoga!) and a window wide open to nature . I decided to make it my studio as well as my bedroom. It became my happy creative intimate kingdom, for 4 weeks…

For logistic concerns, I had brought with me only a small range of material : watercolours, graphite, ink, one or two drawing books, some brushes and 4 pouches of acrylic paint, red, ultramarine, yellow, and white. I bought locally a number of big sheets of beautiful handmade paper.

I took a walk to the village and immediately felt a connection with the women there. I was fascinated with their beauty, the elegance of their movement, the soft dance of their hands and the way they timidly hide their smile and emotions behind the veil of their colourful saree. The feeling of peace that floats around them despite their difficult living conditions in rural Indian society … They happily let me take lots of pictures and, back at the studio I started to draw…

The first photo that inspired me was of a woman in a red saree. I know now that was not a pure coincidence : I believe the bright red attracted me unconsciously as an evidence of a strong need that came from my guts.

Red for passion, love, strength, blood, fight for life, …

The turquoise followed without conscious thinking, a random mix on my limited palette, and the contrast somehow strongly resonated with my internal personal chaos of this year.

Later I also added little touches of gold leaves, because women are beauty and precious like gold, like water for life.

The clashing contrast between Red and Turquoise stayed with me and I really felt « at home » with these 2 companions . Later along my travels, alone in my hotel room at night, with not much space and no available art materiel, I started to explore digital drawings on my iPad… Technology had always been science fiction to me, but I unexpectedly found that new medium fun, amazing and satisfying . It became somehow a therapeutic way to express my deepest emotions through art, all along my 6 months personal journey … I thought I would keep these strong digital images to myself, but today I feel ready to share them… I call them the Leela series: Leela is my Indian name, a spiritual name given to me years ago by one of my yoga teachers.


It feels strange that all these new choices, including the subject, were totally instinctive, and only a few weeks ago as I was working at finishing touches on the whole collection, the unconscious messages began to arise to the surface, and I was only then able to start translating them into words.

To me, the deep contrast between red and turquoise reflects that of women’s innate sensitivity and their struggles for life, especially in India but also everywhere else on our planet.

In a world widely ruled by patriarchal systems, women not only struggle to be heard. They struggle to hear and to listen to their own secret feminine voice that has been unconsciously switched to silent mode throughout generations, centuries of history, religion and traditions in patriarchal societies …

I could expand on this subject but that is not my purpose… My role as an artist is to show my work, hoping that it can unveil, deep inside the viewer, some emotion of any kind, and perhaps touch the inner little voice in your heart…

Showing this new work « Rouge, femme » is a big challenge for me as it marks a turning point in my creative career and in my life…

Life is an ongoing, big, creative adventure…


If you are interested in Art residencies, I can warmly recommend :

Farm studio India, international artist residency, Raniya Kheda, Andore, District Sirois, Rajasthan


We had a pop up exhibition at the end of the artist residency at Farm Studio, Rajasthan, India, in November 2023. You can see the poster and the article ( in Hindi !…) in the local newspaper : (link to Press)

You can follow my travels on Instagram: nadcharlet

and on Facebook : Nadette Charlet