Antoine Auriol, the kitesurfing world champion who has become an ecological ambassador, has just achieved a new feat: to kitesurf on the oldest pigment of the world, ocher.
It is in France in Gargas in the Luberon, in the largest ocher quarry in the world, that this wonderful video was shot by Christoph Schwaiger, a director also involved in ecology.
For the past four years Antoine has been presenting documentaries about the environment for french TV. During his trips, he has already kitesurfed in the center of Manhattan (New York), in front of the Eiffel tower (Paris), in the Retiro Park (Madrid) and in many picturesque places such as red saltworks from southern Spain. The videos of these escapades are on the internet.
© Alexandre Henri
"Since my kitesurfing session “RED”, I have dreamt of kitesurfing on colored waters, and to understand the reason of these colors. During my researches, I discovered this splendid ocher quarry. So I contacted the company “Ocres de France” a few months ago, to know if the wind was blowing there from time to time! Stephanie Anglès, the manager immediately helped me and gave me all the information I needed: "when the wind Mistral blows on Marseille, it blows over here!"
Stéphanie gave me the green light to carry out this project, because of the fact that kitesurfing in these decantation ponds doesn’t damage the purity of ocher pigments.
Then I set up my Windy app to warn me as soon as the optimal wind was coming.
Three months later the stars aligned and the Mistral pointed towards Gargas. So we could go to the site and I could do some colored pirouettes!
The result is great, I’m very happy to have been able to kite in an ocher water. It highlights the colors of the lands of the south of France, and it also reminds me of India because I spent a lot of time there - especially Jaisalmer in Rajasthan which is a golden city in the desert of Thar . In India, the ocher tone is very symbolic. My choice of music was naturally made for this video, and the images were immediately in harmony with the music of Bollywood!
I work as a craftsman, and I take care of all the details of my artistic creations. I put my heart on it. My videos are meant to provoke a reflection. I invite people to dream, and to respect the planet. "
This ore, composed of 10% to 15% of ocher and 95% of sand is a pure ecological product, created by the nature. In order to obtain pure ocher pigments, there are several steps: extraction, washing, decantation (where the video was made), calcination, and finally grinding and packaging.
Ocher has gone through the ages: its first use by man was 400000 years ago as a pigment. Then, the Egyptians used it for healing properties. In the Middle Ages, ocher was known for its medicinal properties as a gastric bandage. Subsequently, it has undergone various uses: ocher can be found in the color of many products.
Today ocher is used in many applications. In the building industry for the coloring of coatings, whitewashes, concretes etc., in industrial and artistic paints, in agriculture for the coloring of fertilizers, in the terracotta industry, in the coloring of tiles, in cosmetics (coloring powders and blushes). Ocher residues (colored sands) are also used by the electrical and Telecom services for trench cable coverage. Ocher is exported all over the world.
I invite you to consult the website of the company Ocres de France for more information!
Zora Randhawa, Rupali
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© Antoine Auriol