Yolande Milan Batteau, principal artist of Callidus Guild, is a fine artist who brings decades of aesthetic and skills to the studio. After honing her knowledge and physical mastery of ancient materials and methods over the past 25 years, she now draws inspiration from natural phenomena and artistic anthropologies alike, while her surfaces involve pushing marble dust, encaustic, resin, leaf, and micaceous powders beyond their historical limits. The studio’s visuals speak to the dynamic nature of its creations, as well as Batteau’s knowledge and skills that bring Belgian simplicity, French decadence, African complexity, Japanese refinement, and American bravado together. This cross-cultural pollination gives the studio its flair and sense of awareness. Callidus Guild creates, designs, and installs surfaces and wallpapers for some of the world’s biggest named clients. Known for their elevated, one-of-a-kind aesthetic that incorporates plasters, precious metals, and handmade paints, each project is built from scratch and tailored to clients’ needs and aesthetics. Today Yolande is sharing a few of the most important things to her in this Friday Five.
In all its forms, love is my guiding principal, and continues to defy definition! Agape, Eros, Amor; each way love blooms manifests connectedness, meaning, and resonance. Whether it is your environment or your people, the love you feel for the world and societies around you makes life brighter. Love your experiences, love your people, love your things; life is brief and love is the best way not to miss it!
2. The Natural World
Nothing awakens my joy like discovering a beautiful aspect of nature I have not noticed before. Bioluminescence, natural pigments, and the myriad flora we share this planet with are inspiring in their shapes, hues, and chatoyance. If you are ever at a loss for creative combinations of color or texture, all you need is a day in the woods or beside the sea. I am currently working on a body of work about stones, that is a a sort of billet-doux to the world. I am collaborating with two fellow artists for a show at our Atelier this Autumn.
3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Whenever I am unsure that a life of making is worth living, I spend a day at The Met refreshing and reaffirming my place in a long history of storytellers, makers, and myths. I never tire of hammered high karat gold in any form. Aging terra cotta, sloughing off ancient polychrome, the millions of knotted textiles, each thread knitted by hand, inlay if mother of pearl in lacquer, pictures of dying saints rendered in oil as metaphor for all the losses we suffer and mourn, straw costumes and rain coats, star maps made of twigs, money belts of Amazonian feathers. If you want to know what humans are, what we believe in, and long for, look at what we make – not just the useful objects like tools and armor, but our decorations and offerings to the heavens – visit for yourself.
Moving over unknown territory, meeting new people, and experiencing this incredible planet is one of my greatest sources of inspiration. I enjoy a combination of travel styles, both educational and cultural travel, and natural vacations. Some places I am still hoping to see are Cartagena, Papua New Guinea, and The Dalmatian coast.
Although not a “thing” per-se, kindness is recognition of and paying homage to the inter-connectedness of all things, and gives life purpose and meaning, even in dark times. Kindness holds us all together, even when we have varying beliefs or lifestyles.