There seems to be a running theme in your artwork, what is it about nature that inspires you?
One of my favourite themes is the forest. Everything I do is taken from my walks in nature, because it’s what I really love most in the world. I’m very unhappy in town. I want to be in the country with flowers, plants and butterflies around me. I aim to capture nature through a particular lens. It’s nature as seen through a dream; ‘la nature rêvée’, I call it.
Your glass screen painting is amazingly detailed. Can you describe the scene?
There’s a small, very unhappy mouse in the bottom left corner, who just wants to go back to her home. But, alas, she’s lost her key. Something we can all relate to I think. Up above, you can spot a bird taunting the mouse with a key in his beak. To a pessimist, it’s clear the owl over there will eat the mouse, and all will be lost. But an optimist will say the bird is just trying to return the mouse’s key.
The ending is open to interpretation.
In a certain light and at certain angles, gold highlights and butterflies appear from nowhere in the woods. Other times, they simply disappear. There are fairytale elements everywhere in my artwork. I’ve loved fairytales and English Romantic poetry since I was a child and reference them constantly.
And the butterflies…?
I have always incorporated butterflies into my work, but the idea has grown and evolved. Last year, I was asked to create an installation on the French chateau l’Haroué. I wondered how I could decorate the outside of such a large, grand house. Then it came to me: butterflies! So there are 50 butterflies lining the castle’s columns and facade. Springtime in the winter.
Furniture by Joy de Rohan Cabot available at JOSEPH 77 Fulham Road.