November 29, 2016
Paper Artist Lauren Collin Exhibits her Artwork at Liaigre
From November 18th through March, 2017, Liaigre will exhibit the beautiful paper bas-reliefs of artist Lauren Collin.
by New York Spaces
NYS: What drew you to art? Is there a defining moment that solidified you on that career path?
Lauren Collin: I think that it is mainly the emotion that provokes me to create a piece of art. I am working through these sensations when I create my bas-reliefs; they tell a story that speaks to everyone in their own way. I appreciate that art can be subjective because no two people have the exact same feelings. I see in it, a way to show how everyone is unique while using a common language, the vision.
After Gilles & Boissier exposed one of my paper works at AD interior exhibitions in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs of Paris I received many solicitations from galleries and individuals. My third year at the studio was during a period where I needed another outlet of creativity; my grandmother was dying and it upset me a lot. I spent two days at her bedside telling her all I had in my heart. My childhood memories with her were resurfacing and I felt at this moment that the most important thing I could do was to realize my dreams and continue to make her live through them.
NYS: We love that after attending an art school in Paris, you also became an interior designer! What drew you to that field and what parallels did you find in the two fields?
Lauren Collin: It's not easy to find your way when you are in high school and sometimes this question resurfaces when you are an adult. When I look back at the few years that separate me from my studies I feel lucky to have found where I wanted to be. It wasn't that simple though... I went through the desire to be astronaut, chef, veterinarian and art restorer. I was passionate about both Art and Sciences as my mother is a decorative painter, and my father, a stomatologist. My maternal grandfather was a forensic accountant and architect/designer by passion. He built his own houses and the furniture for each of them. Since all members of my family knew how to do things with their hands, it was hard not to be inspired; my grandmother, who had her own kitchen garden, knew how to sew to perfection, a father goldsmith of the teeth, a mother who drew you magical landscapes to color, an uncle who is a saxophonist, an aunt a ceramicist. The list goes on!
I think that the richness of a project is a reflection of the bridges that are created between different disciplines that do not necessarily have places to be, to see beyond habits. This is the reason why I chose to be an interior designer after art school. Why can't it be possible when you are interested in both?
I fell in love with perspective and architectural drawings when I was in art school, which piqued my interest in interior design. I was accepted to ESAG Penninghen in 2nd year to learn this discipline and this has greatly strengthened my skill set. By joining art school before I developed my sensibility I had another way of seeing things, which again enriched me both personally and professionally.
Art and Interior design are two very complementary disciplines. The notions of volume, light, composition, and texture are subjects that are approached in Art as in Architecture or Interior Design.
NYS: How did you apply your love of art and interior design to your job at the architecture firm, Gilles & Boissier?
Lauren Collin: I share with G&B a common universe, one that allowed me to inject my sensibility and creativity into projects, while simultaneously adhering to their aesthetic style. Making inspiration boards, selecting materials and drawing concepts allowed me to be fulfilled and to express myself as an Artist and an Interior Designer.
NYS: We are fascinated by your career trajectory and love that during your time working for Gilles & Boissier you also developed your first bas reliefs. What was your technique and how did your first exhibition at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs of Paris fare?
Lauren Collin: Thank you very much! Since the beginning of my work at G&B and still now, I have always been
supported and valued by Patrick Gilles and Dorothée Boissier. They believe in my bas-reliefs and helped me get started as an artist. Word of mouth spread after my first order from my colleague Grégoire de Lafforest. It was impressive for me because I was moving from a step of creating sample to a finished artwork which at the time I had never done before. Fortunately, he loved it and G&B did too, so I created one to expose in their studio. It was mainly my professional connections due to my work at G&B that helped me to further develop my bas-reliefs.
It was a special opportunity for me to expose one of my pieces at the AD exhibition in Musée des Arts Décoratifs of Paris because it gave me an exceptional visibility during those few months. One of my bas-reliefs was presented on the Gilles & Boissier stand's, which was designed in collaboration with the French artist Christian Astuguevieille, and Hermès Petit h. It allowed me to meet Cyril Feb from Petit h and create samples of carved leathers with the same technique as bas-relief.
NYS: After your first exhibition led to many others in the city of love, what did you realize about your technique and/or medium?
Lauren Collin: These exhibitions allow me to meet people and know how they feel about my work. I understand that my bas-reliefs evoke emotions. I realize that most people don't understand how I am able to create this volume by using just one piece of paper. I discovered that my medium is touching due to its simplicity and universally approved appearance. Who has never had a sheet of paper in his hands?
NYS: How would you describe your artwork now?
Lauren Collin: I devote myself to my work between six and 10 hours a day, so my technique has improved and evolved the past few years. I think that my starting approach is still the same however. It is carved paper. Not just sculpture because you can't turn around and one side can't be seen, not just drawing because it's in volume.
NYS: What brought about the collaboration with Liaigre?
Lauren Collin: As I am an Interior Designer and an Artist, these two universes attract me. I don't feel comfortable exposing my artworks in an empty space with walls, floor and ceiling painted in white, with this same dazzling light... I like living spaces, which have a soul and a story to tell. I think that it is just as important as what you are exposing.
I have been familiar with Christian Liaigre's work since my interior design studies and have always been impressed with it. During a meeting with Déborah Liaigre at my studio to show her my artwork, she expressed her love for it and we began to speak about an exhibition in NY. This collaboration was very interesting for me because each piece of art needed to be in sync with the Liaigre furnishings and vice versa.
NYS: What can visitors expect to see from the exhibition and what do you think the ultra-chic space brought (and vice versa) to the artwork?
Lauren Collin: Visitors can expect to discover my universe through several bas-reliefs made with different kind of papers, which echo Liaigre furniture's materials and textures. We share the same perfectionism with a real sense of attention to detail and this allows us to create a beautiful space where each piece of art and design complements one another.
NYS: We find it unique and refreshing that you leave the buyer with the choice of orientation in terms of
the artwork. Why do you do so?
Lauren Collin: My bas-reliefs don't have a one-way reading or even a title. Everyone can choose the direction they want which is why I sign behind to not impose my choice. Why would mine be better than others or even the only one to consider?
My choice is to make the reading of these bas-reliefs not singular. Would you continue reading books if you could not imagine any detail of a landscape, the taste of a cake, or the scent of a skin? A story can be singular but this doesn't prevent us from experiencing it differently.
NYS: When will the exhibition take place and whom would you most like to see there?
Lauren Collin: The exhibition at Liaigre Townhouse in NY is open from November 18th and will last through March 2017. This question is really hard...the one person who will have a crush on the masterpiece I have made specifically for this exhibition; this piece is 9.2ft length by 4.2ft high. I have never created a bas-relief that large before.
NYS: What is next on the horizon for you?
Lauren Collin: At the same time as developing my technique, I have special orders from clients and Interior Designers that I need to work on. I started to create new bas-reliefs from different materials including leather and ceramic. I also begin to work in partnership with a very famous French porcelain brand and I hope that we will show you as soon as possible what we are working on but for the moment it's a secret!
LIAIGRE is located at 34 E 61st St, New York, NY 10065.
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