Can you tell us more about your concrete experience of the lockdown ?
Since 16th march, the start of the quarantine, my family stopped going out. Roughly every two weeks, my husband and I go to the supermarket to stock up on food and groceries. We are fortunate to live in a suburb west of Paris: Saint Germain-en-Laye. We have a big house with a garden so there is actually lots to do for all the family. We are doing our best to stay healthy and enjoying the family time together as much as we can, during this special time.
What is your personal state of mind ?
A juxtaposition of peace and rest with anxiety and fear…
To be frank, at the outset the confinement was a little frustrating for everyone… but human beings are very adaptable. I think it is more about the limitations imposed upon us that restrict the choices in life that we often take for granted. Given the special circumstances of this virus, we fully understand why we are doing what we are doing. In fact, both my husband and I experienced SARS in Asia before. Each of us must do our part. We have explained to our 3 children that it is necessary to stay at home for a while without going to school and doing any activities.
We rest well, read together, and we are learning a new way of ‘being’. We should be grateful, treasure the family and loved ones, and learn to appreciate our world together, and listen to each other.
Does the lockdown experience have an impact on your art ?
New inspirations, always! As a photographer and not being able to go out to shoot, it is a disaster! With the reaction and behavior of people during this pandemic outbreak, I feel real and surreal at same time. Being an artist, we can always portray reality with people’s frustration and reaction. Being a good artist, we should be able to portrait the surrealism by exaggerating the reality. Recently, I am planning a new series of photos which are composed by using the postproduction techniques to combine existing images that convey the idea that the perfect world in which we live needs to pause, to make space for time to reflect and also to heal…
Do you practice your art during the lockdown? if yes, can you tell us about your new pieces?
I have started working on a large painting, which I made for my husband 50th birthday. I am normally not much of a painter, strangely I had strong desire to paint something for him, precisely for our family. Armed with paints and brushes, I felt my inner feelings coming out…viscerally, directly, thrillingly.
This piece is made with acrylic paint on framed vinyl screen which used to be a movie theater screen. To avoid waste, I decided to use it to make a painting. The inspiration comes from Matisse’ masterpiece “La Danse” (painted in 1909!). This concept captures a dynamic portrait our young family, with each character representing an individual... No matter what happens, no matter the difficulties faced, we should always stand by each other, celebrating our love and togetherness!
- Emmanuel Leprince