This week we're venturing into the wild with Lucie Duban, a self-taught artist from Royan, France who has had several solo-shows at home and abroad. There is a playful and dreamlike quality to her work. Nature is at the core of her practice; her main inspiration. Her art deals with the invisible interconnections between each living being.
What led you to become an artist?
As a child, I spent a lot of time drawing, painting, playing with colours and daydreaming outdoors. Also drawing was well present in my family. So to have taken this path is a natural thing I guess as well as a long process, as if I was carrying my paintings inside for years until the point when they needed to get out. It was like knowing I will paint way before doing it for real. I started to paint seriously in 2008 as a need for externalizing my own universe I have been building up within. It was also a way to cope with the cynical and unpoetic society we live in. Like a "refuge". Hence the very present dreamlike aspect in my work, like an ongoing attempt to escape reality.
What is your creative process?
My work is divided in between two series of paintings. The series presented here is my main one, Natura. My process is always the same. I work with oil. I start with applying some first layers that I wish to be interesting, while creating volumes and transparency and then I interact with the painting. I try to build up a narrative of some sort, a ground that would serve the viewer to take a plunge into it. I don't use perspective, I want to keep a flat image and I tend to let the paint reaching for some depth.
I really never know what the outcome will be when I start a painting. I interact with it, looking for balance and that feeling of "readiness" in a composition which is impossible to describe as it's only a matter of feeling. Also sometimes, there are some bad decisions taken and therefore, you have to rework on it to erase, or use the error in some way.
What do you want to accomplish with your work? How are you doing this?
I tend to create images that could recall landscapes, weird landscapes which would enable the viewer to get lost into them. They call for contemplation. I would like my paintings to be as invitations for a moment of escape and dream, and also for a reconnection with Nature and our child soul. I really think our ability to dream and marvel at nature is a human necessity. I just hope to achieve this sometimes.
What are the biggest influences on your art?
My first inspiration is Nature. I mean Nature has created it all already, all the wonderful and craziest colours are out there and the shapes as well. It's insane. We live on a magical planet for real, and many of our societies forget about it. Quantic theory also fascinates me a lot. Matter and non-matter. It's very spiritual. Artistically speaking, I simply adore the works of Odilon Redon and Arshile Gorky, and I also admire Kandinsky, Wools, Klee, Khalo and Chagall.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Apart from the obvious one, being able to time-space travel in a second (great way to lessen our carbon footprint!), maybe to go really further and beyond, like up to the limits of the universe, trying to check if those exist or not.
Check out Lucie's work here.