“The tree of life” by Erick Ifergan

Artist Erick Ifergan shares the amazing project he produced for the chapel at Château Saint-Martin.

I was thrilled to produce work for the chapel at Château Saint Martin in Vence and have long been fascinated by the idea of leaving an indelible mark in this spiritual place.

I am also immensely grateful to those who enabled me to achieve this exceptional project.

The creative process was the result of a long spiritual journey touching on subjects that have interested me since my childhood.

I do believe that faith is purely spiritual and it is an intimate connection between us -human beings- and the incredible force above us that we call God.

I therefore wished for this chapel to unite all people no matter what their beliefs or religions are.

That is the reason why I chose the universal theme, so that everyone could feel free to pray, meditate or marry in this space.

The tree of life quickly became the obvious choice. I wanted it to welcome us and envelop us, in order to better elevate us.

It is designed to takes us back to Abraham’s revelation – the founder of the three main monotheistic religions – who, by observing nature, trees, skies, and rivers, realised that this eternal and divine force is an invisible one. Over 5,000 years ago, he put forward this revolutionary hypothesis: God is invisible.

And it is this invisibility that I have in all modesty tried to illustrate in my work in the chapel.

The tree of life for me represents the fantastic and miraculous mechanism that takes form before our eyes day after day.

Making visible what is invisible is the quest of a lifetime, and it is my quest. It is the very essence of my artistic process.

When we stand in the centre of the chapel and spread our arms wide-open , we become the trunk of the tree and our arms become the branches. We are one with nature and we find ourselves in the centre of the universe. In the centre of the divine. In the centre of nature’s eternal miracle.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to those who enabled me to create this work, and especially to Agnes Sandahl who inspired me day after day, and with whom I have shared this wonderful adventure.

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