Meet Hervé Paraponaris
This project was born from the fortuitous meeting of two Mediterraneans with a strong temperament, Laetitia, Corsican by origin, president of Apnée and Hervé, a multidisciplinary artist from Marseille. What brings them together: the love of beautiful things and the stories behind them, the need to be in communion with nature. This is how this pretty beach racket project was born for wild games this summer.
I come from a village north of Marseille, the Aygalades, known for its springs and its guinguettes. Born of a seamstress mother and a fitter father in shipbuilding and ship repair. They met at the ball. Both from Italian immigration for my mother and Greek for my father. Youngest of 3 siblings and ward at the age of eight following our father's tragic workplace accident. For many saved by the national education, my BAC Economic and social sciences in my pocket, I enrolled in the Beaux Arts de Marseille.
Graduated in 1989 in sculpture, object, installation specialty, I had the chance to start very early an artistic research based around the materials, the status of the object and the uses, customs and beliefs.
Like many people from Marseille, I share life at the campsite on the Côte Bleue in summer and winter alike. Endless apneas, Posidonia fields, barefoot life. Be satisfied with a seafood, a bite of brown seaweed, taste constantly. I am unhappy with the historical, human and ecological destruction that we are experiencing.
How did you come up with the idea of making beach rackets?
Our snowshoes are designed and manufactured in Marseille in an art & craft tradition from noble bio-sourced materials of French origin. These are exclusive products that are designed and built to last through the seasons.
Each racket requires between 18 and 24 operations. The material used is an exclusive composite made from a core of cork and sheets of beech or walnut glued in a cross thread. After a first sanding the multiply is coated, re-sanded, varnished and polished. Depending on the desired finish, direct printing, pad printing, or tints can be applied.
Developed with great care and offering a finish of rare essence, it is a real sports marquetry that combines aesthetics and performance. It is a top-of-the-range production, demanding, but just as sporty, which will have to be treated like a work of art.
For all ages from 7 to 87, it couldn't be simpler, start with slow speed balls at waist height, and speed up and away according to the skill and ability of the protagonists. It's about starting with a reduced distance between the two players (between 3 and 8 meters) and carrying out series by trying to make the greatest number of exchanges possible without dropping the ball. All shots of ball and shuttlecock sports are invited.
My children, my family.
I constantly renew my professional skills by multiplying collaborations with artists, craftsmen, industrialists in the sector who master the various traditional techniques. My research focuses on bio-materials and bio-sourced composite materials and in particular cork, linen and agro-sourced binders. This positioning at the crossroads of art, science and industry is the common thread of my activity as a professional and as a citizen.