JOSEPH: CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW YOU BECAME AN ARTIST?
ADELINE DE MONSEIGNAT: Becoming an artist is actually all about remaining one as an adult. I was a wonderfully free artist as a child and luckily managed to stick to my guns to pursue it as an adult until now and certainly could not imagine ever giving it up.
J: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK?
ADM: Sensual yet disturbing, subtle yet thought-provoking.
J: AND TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORK THAT WILL BE FEATURED IN YOUR UPCOMING SOLO EXHIBITION AT THE RONCHINI GALLERY?
ADM: The show will feature one main installation, my largest to date. I wanted to translate the invitation to ‘open the doors to my mind’ to the viewer in an immersive and intimate experience. The piece based on the measurements of my childhood bedroom is the most intimate space one could share, yet the one where creativity originates. If my mind were a space you could wander around, that would be ‘home’, which makes the piece some sort of a self-portrait where the viewer is invited to take a seat for a tête à tête with my mind.
J: YOU WERE BORN IN MONACO, WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO LIVE AND WORK IN LONDON?
ADM: I moved to London for my studies and for all that the city has to offer. It has the most exciting and challenging universities and most vibrant art scene.
J: WHAT INSPIRES YOU HERE?
ADM: The constant flow of stimulating talks, shows, events and the people, their energy and curiosity.
J: WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?
ADM: Ah, easy. Home!
J: Which other artists do you look up to?
ADM: Henrique Oliveira is a friend and artist I highly admire for
his boldness and for letting his ever-growing obsession for his work quite literally take over and grow from piece to piece. Magnificent work! Louise Bourgeois will forever be in my heart for quite personal reasons but also for the obvious ones that she was a hugely talented and sensitive maker.
J: THERE ARE ELEMENTS OF SURREALISM AND THE UNCANNY IN YOUR WORK, WHAT DRAWS YOU TO THESE?
ADM: I appreciate how both challenge our perception of ourselves and the world we live in. I tend to see Surrealism as a breath of fresh air for the mind. As for the Uncanny, Freud proved that the failure to define the term made it even more so interesting, making the search for ‘the uncanny’, the strangely familiar and familiarly strange, even more so tantalizing and irresistible. Just the way we often try to define our lives in vain yet never stop trying, and not without great enthusiasm.
J: THERE ARE ALSO STRONG REFERENCES TO MOTHERHOOD: WHY?
ADM: I am fascinated by the human being’s need to create and procreate. I’m interested in motherhood as an image for the maker as the mother and the creation as the child. There are such strong links and similarities between creation and child – it comes to life in your guts, incubates within you for a while and if strong enough it will grow, take shape and eventually gets thrown into our world. The ‘m/other’ – just like the maker – becomes this ‘other’ physically separated from her child/ creation proving the necessity for physical and emotional separation in order for life to prevail and evolve.
J: HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO BRING SO MUCH LIFE TO INANIMATE OBJECTS?
ADM: I’m not sure I always succeed but I’ll never stop trying. I put so much love and energy into my work that lifeless objects start having a story and a life of their own. The choice of material is crucial too – organic, tactile and filled with past history – and often facilitates their coming to life.
J: WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE FASHION DESIGNERS?
ADM: Barbara Casasola and Julie de Libran. Both strong, sensual and timeless.
J: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LOOK FROM JOSEPH AW'14 AND WHY?
ADM: Because these are exactly the neutral tones, soft materials and simple shapes I like to snuggle my body into.
Adeline de Monseignat, Solo Show at Ronchini Gallery, Exhibition runs: 14 November 2014 - 17 January 2015, 22 Dering Street, London W1S 1AN