The creation of Creation

BY ANNE BOYERE, BERNARD TARDIEU’S DAUGHTER

Creation is the last work completed by my father, French artist Bernard Tardieu, before he experienced a stroke in November 2013 at the age of 83.  Sadly he remained partially paralysed on his right side and every attempt to resume his work would completely drain him of energy. The only thing that still mattered to him was that Creation would be seen and would serve its purpose of being a medium for education.

But how?  My own circumstances meant that I lacked the time to organise exhibitions…

In 2016, my father’s health declined markedly.  I decided to post the picture on Twitter.  The results were incredible and far exceeded my expectations.  In less than 48 hours, the tweet had attracted more than 24 thousand likes and nearly 17 thousand retweets!  So many people came forward to express their love for the painting, saying how much they enjoyed it, or their children enjoyed it, or how it inspired them because they or a loved one had also experienced a stroke. Many of those who reached out to me wanted to buy a copy of Creation so I, my brother and my husband started working towards getting the picture printed in A1 posters, with a view to selling copies that would each fund a free print for a school.

Sign Against Stroke (@SignAgnstStroke), supported by Bayer, also contacted me to offer to print A3 posters to distribute to stroke units in France, the UK, and Spain.

I got in touch with Paul Carter, a friend and photographer, who had spent the last three years photographing art. He kindly agreed to capture Creation digitally in order to create the file that would serve to print the posters.

The result is a stunning A1 poster on matt art paper that is now available to buy.  So many schools are also benefiting as a free copy is sent to a nominated school with every purchase.

We have had so much support and many more ideas to capitalise on the remarkable educative potential of my father’s work.  Please keep in touch with our progress on Facebook.

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The tweet that went viral

Paul Carter photographing the original painting