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Laurence Aguerre and her incredibly exquisite flowers made entirely by hand. I saw them and I felt like Alice from Alice in Wonderland. I saw them and I wanted to drown in them.
A palette of pastels, extremely delicate materials, the care of a detail-oriented person, the ability and the love for the most evanescent children of Mother Earth is the very successful mix of tools used by Laurence Aguerre to create her works. Today, I am delighted to introduce you to this French textile artist, who, in my opinion, should spread the seeds of her extraordinary flowers in all of the world: more Aguerre equals more joy for the soul! Now, enjoy the interview and prepare yourselves to daydream about the images here below!
DHG: hi Laurence. I have found your works while browsing the web, looking for textile artists to interview. It was love at first sight! How do you create your delicate flower-sculptures?
LAURENCE: hi Annalisa. Many thanks for your enthusiastic interest in my creations and for sharing it with your readers. I enjoy mixing materials, techniques, colours, and I think this gives me an infinite freedom to create. Most of the time I start from the yarn (cotton, linen, silk, metal) or from fiber for the wool. I hand-weave, braid, embroider, make lace, needle-felt and then I shape until I find a beautiful composition. It is an exploration that requires time. Sometimes I have in mind the idea of a specific flower, sometimes I create very freely, and let myself be guided by the materials and techniques. But I always focus on having a light and airy piece that can dance in a light breath of air, with beautiful finishing touches. I am happy when I think my flowers leave the impression to be alive.
D: what are your favorite materials to work with?
L: I work with natural yarns like cotton, linen, silk, wool but also with very thin metal ones. When I use fabric, it’s silk, silk organza, or organic cotton. I also add glass and crystal beads. I spend a lot of time selecting my materials, and I am very happy when I find unusual ones. I love to create surprises with the materials I use, and I also enjoy mixing them.
D: your very delicate works look like something out of a fairytale. What is your source of inspiration?
L: my source of inspiration is nature – wild, free, delicate, alive. I have been living for more than 20 years in Paris, and I think that as years go by, I really miss the countryside where I grew up, in the south-west of France. I love some hidden gardens in Paris, like "Les Jardins du Palais Royal" where you forget the city. My first installation named “Un peu d’air” was directly inspired by these gardens.
D: can you describe your studio to us? So we can picture you at work, creating your art.
L: I had the chance, in October 2015, to be selected to integrate “Les Ateliers de Paris”, in Paris near Bastille. This is a creative place for design, finest crafts, jewels and fashion set up in a beautiful Parisian building where a few years ago Jean-Paul Gaultier and his teams used to work. Meeting other artists and designers, exchanging and collaborating with them is a very rich experience. My studio is all white, with a wonderful light, organised like a tiny showroom, with gardens of my flowers. People say it is a very quiet place. I have some real tiny plants, like a purple oxalis which is a magical plant that awakes in the morning with the light and sleeps at night, and some drawings of other artists. I work in front of the window, and I love to see the sky, the sun, and the clouds running.
D: what was your education? What made you the artist you are today?
L: I have always been fascinated by textiles and the way they are produced. I learned embroidery and crochet work when I was ten, and then never stopped exploring textiles techniques as a hobby. I made conventional studies and I graduated in 1990 in business and management. I worked for almost 20 years in fashion and accessories, on the administrative side. In 2012, due to major changes in my company, I decided to further my explorations by studying textile design at the Duperré High School of Applied Arts in Paris. I created my first flower, “Ballerine”, and others for an installation named “Un peu d’air” that I presented at the end of my textile design studies in June 2014. This textile garden was quite successful and was the beginning of my new artistic adventure.
D: at the moment, you seem to be focusing on flowers as the central theme for your art. Do you intend to experiment with other subjects in the future?
L: nature is an infinite source of inspiration, and one life will not be enough to explore it all. I think I still have many experiments to make with flowers and plants and would love to work especially on grass family and later on succulents. Butterflies and birds will also join my gardens. Then I could focus on some special tiny houses, like huts, tents or yurts, but always including some plants and flowers.
D: if you could meet a textile artist, who would you meet?
L: there are many textile artists I would love to meet, among all of them incredible Japanese crochet designer Jung Jung, delicate embroiderer Rita Smirna, subtle and modern embroiderer Meredith Woolnought, Alexandra Kehayoglou and her amazing carpets. In fact, the list is quite long.
You can find Laurence Aguerre's website here: www.laurenceaguerre.paris
If you liked this interview, you might also be interested in our interview with Cayce Zavaglia.