Agnes Toulouse (Clancy) was born in Limoges, France. Her love of art developed at a young age as she observed her grandfather, an accomplished watercolorist, paint every corner of her childhood garden.
“I would watch him, quietly smoking his pipe, sitting on a stool facing his easel—a painting in itself. Everything seemed to disappear around him; his art would transcend the insurmountable, chasing away the trauma of two wars and the irreparable loss of a wife and child. Here I realized that art is a powerful healer, and I witnessed the extraordinary love affair between the man and his creation.”
Agnes felt a call to the humanitarian world and she joined Medecins sans Frontiere in 1988 to work as a tropical nurse in a refugee camp in Zambia, then South Africa, where she witnessed the liberation of Nelson Mandela in 1990. After several more years, spent in Ivory Coast and Nigeria, she settled down in 1995 with her husband, Peter Clancy, and three children in the Washington, DC area. Here she resurrected her love for art and resumed her painting.
“I have this urge to immortalize my childhood memories. I want to be able to consult them, to be immersed in them, to experience them anew, exactly as they were first offered to me. And this—my artwork— is how my desires translate themselves into something vibrant, tangible, and enduring.”