NeSpoon and the Cross of Toulouse in Blagnac, France

We again join the world of street artist Nespoon, this time nestled in the enchanting town of Blagnac, in the picturesque region of Occitania, which serves as the backdrop for her latest artistic endeavor. Blagnac (pop. 23,759), a serene residential suburb of Toulouse in the south of France, is not only known for its tranquility but also for being home to the illustrious headquarters of Airbus, the largest aerospace corporation in the world.

Invited by the curator, Maud O’Jeanson, Nespoon embarked on a journey that would culminate in a solo exhibition of her paintings and sculpture at the esteemed Odyssud Cultural Center from May 12th to July 5th, 2023. As is her custom, she was also commissioned to create new work for the walls of the city hall.

NeSpoon. City Hall. Blagnac, France. (photo courtesy of the artist)

The city authorities proposed a project that paid homage to the ancient symbol of the region, the Cross of Occitania. This revered emblem, also known as the Cross of Toulouse or, albeit inaccurately, the Cross of the Cathars, has held profound significance for over a millennium. In the medieval era, it adorned the coat of arms of the St-Gilles family, the Counts of Toulouse. Today, this emblem can be found on official symbols of local government bodies, fluttering on flags, etched into house walls, wrought in iron on bridge balustrades, and even imprinted on postcards. Its ubiquity extends to the local subway, where it marks its presence, and it is cherished as jewelry, sought-after souvenirs, and even as graffiti on urban walls. Some believe that the origins of the Toulouse cross predate Christianity, possibly once representing a radiant sun wheel with its twelve rays. Traditionally, the numbers 3, 4, and 12 were intricately incorporated into this symbol.

NeSpoon. City Hall. Blagnac, France. (photo courtesy of the artist)

In a Nespoonian twist, the artist chose to disrupt this rhythmic pattern and embark on a deconstruction journey of the symbol. Adding new elements and forging novel divisions and symmetries, she breathed new life into this timeless icon. The numerical essence of her project can be described by the numbers 4, 5, 8, and 20, intricately interwoven into her mesmerizing creations.

Inspired by the intricate artistry of lace, Nespoon derived her pattern for the mural from a delicate technique called tatting. Every stroke and design element bore her mark, infusing the cross with her own artistic language. Despite the challenges posed by the surprisingly cool and rainy May weather in this region, Nespoon devoted ten days to her work transforming the city hall’s façade.

Nespoon extends her heartfelt gratitude to the city of Blagnac, the team at Odyssud, and especially Maud O’Jeanson for their unwavering support in making this extraordinary project a reality.

NeSpoon. City Hall. Blagnac, France. (photo courtesy of the artist)
NeSpoon. City Hall. Blagnac, France. (photo courtesy of the artist)
NeSpoon. City Hall. Blagnac, France. (photo courtesy of the artist)
NeSpoon. Odyssud Cultural Center. Blagnac, France. (photo courtesy of the artist)

NeSpoon’s Dentelle de rue at the Odyssud Cultural Center runs until July 05, 2023. Click HERE for more details.