One of the responsibilities that comes with being a global company is to give back to your community. Martell Cognac has certainly risen to that challenge in an amazing way: by introducing the Fondation d’Entreprise Martell.

Preview Launch of the Fondation d’Entreprise Martell

Sophie was lucky enough to be invited to the preview launch by Nathalie Viot, Director of the foundation. It was a wonderful summer evening with beautiful food, great cocktails, and unique artistic projects. Congratulations Nathalie, and the entire team at Martell!

Preview Launch of the Fondation d’Entreprise Martell

So what exactly is the Fondation d’Enterprise Martell? Well, it’s a directive launched by the Cognac giant in 2016 to provide a showcase of talent and contemporary creations in all forms of art. This event was the grand opening of the building in Cognac where selected artists will get to fill the whole ground floor with an exhibition covering 900 square meters.

Preview Launch of the Fondation d’Entreprise Martell

Starting in 2018, each year the space will be entrusted to an artist to create a original artwork in situ, one that offers the visitor an immersive environment.

Shadow of the Steam

“Shadow of the Steam” is a multimedia installation by artist duo Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, who use digital and live arts in their creations. As visitors wander and dance through this magical light show, they animate the work with their movement.

Preview Launch of the Fondation d’Entreprise Martell

The experience pays homage to the impressive art deco building as a whole, and the state it was in before the massive job of total renovation. The former bottling plant of Martell was entirely covered in the black mushroom “Torula”–famous in the Cognac region for adorning all buildings in the vicinity of aging Cognac. The angel’s share, the evaporating alcohol from the eau-de-vie is that creates this mold.

Shine a Light

Preview Launch of the Fondation d’Entreprise Martell

This incredible light sculpture is the work of Parisian artist, Nathalie Talec. She uses many mediums in her work, including ceramics and glass. Indeed this project was conducted in partnership with Craft de Limoges, Jean-Pierre Gimbers, l’Atelier Gamil, Magnalucis, and Andrighetto & Miot.

Pavilion by SelgasCano

Another impressive installation is the outdoor pavilion created for the large space in front of Martell’s cellars, developed by architect duo Selgas Cano.

Preview Launch of the Fondation d’Entreprise Martell

This dreamy yellow labyrinth, in which visitors are invited to lounge and relax, is home to a variety of exhibitions with local artisans throughout the course of the year.

Each year the artistic exhibitions are focused around the themes and materials that Martell themselves hold dear: Travel, time, the senses, materials, nature, and light, amongst others. Because the artists are responsible for a year’s exhibition, their work can evolve throughout its time on display. This means it’s possible to visit multiple times and there will always be something new to see. Over the course of the coming year, they will open a new restaurant on the upper floor, which promises to be amazing.

The exhibition is now open to the public, and can be visited at 16 Avenue Paul Firino Martell, 16100 Cognac, France.

Discover more about Martell Cognac.

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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