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Ceramics as Shaping Emotions – An Interview with Léa Bigot

Meet Léa bigot, a ceramic artist, who is grown up with creative parents in an environment that celebrated craft and design. Léa believes that her art is a tribute to emotions. Read more about her artistic process and the strong connection she has with the organic power which is embodied in her artworks. 

What inspired you to start the art of pottery?

I studied graphic design and I worked for ten years in this field. I enjoyed it, but always felt something was missing. Therefore, in 2016 I started to explore “design and object” under the creative duo named “Klima Intérieurs”. But it was still through illustration and drawings. The more I evolved in this direction, the more I felt the need to create real volume. That’s why I decided to come back to clay; the material I found so satisfying and magical when I was a child.

What is your first memory of ceramics? What’s the first thing you do using clay?

When I was little, my mother, who was a kindergarten teacher, always encouraged us to experiment with many different mediums. We did a lot of collage along with drawings, paintings, and my favourite among all, clay modeling. I surely did a lot of different things that I don’t quite remember, but I remember how proud I was when I made that little elephant. I remember how cautious I was with its ears so it won’t break. Thinking of this made me realize that I still work the exact same way; very intuitively, starting from a bloc of material and carving the shape out of it.

How do you spend a day at the studio?

I’m very versatile, no day looks like another. Primary reason of this is because I do a lot of different things. Sculpture is by far the field where I feel free the most. If I have time for this, I start my day as an artistic director for several clients, brands or magazines. So a day in the studio would always start with a list of all the things that I have to achieve and as soon as the list is complete I find myself in this magical place, where I can connect with my inner energy and sculpt.

You say you grew worshiping nature as something that gives energy to you. How would you describe this energy and how it is projected to your practice?

Growing up on a volcanic island, I always had a fascination for the natural world. Not just as something that I feel belonging to, but as something that surrounds me and will still be there long after I disappear. It’s like a perpetual movement that every part of the world has to follow, from the stars to the atoms. This wild energy is what I connect to spontaneously when I sculpt, it is this organic power that I picture in my shapes. 

How would you describe your philosophical approach behind your production?

My culture is very superstitious and I feel very far from it on a daily basis. My work is my way to feel close again. My dad is a photographer and one of his main subjects are trees. I think I share his philosophical approach: the artistic work as a tribute to something that you don’t really understand but that you do feel. One could say it is more about emotion than philosophy.

I’d like to hear a little bit more about your second set inspired by Cap Méchant. How would you describe this fascinating encounter that inspired you for your art? 

We used to go to the seashore during tropical storms, I have never been more humbled by the enraged sea meeting the rocks with this kind of violence. One could imagine postcard-like beaches when imagining a tropical island but the place where I come from doesn’t look like that at all. The cliffs are black and vertiginous and the sea is very deep at their feet, it is a very special feeling to be there. So special that words struggle to explain it, that’s why sculpting is my only way to share this with others.

What do your pieces mean to you, on both a personal and professional level?

I have just done 9 pieces so far, it’s alway kind of hard to let them go for the emotional reasons that I explained before. But I love to see them in their new environment and to see how much their new owners love them and interpret them in their own way. On a professional level, I have lots of projects in my mind for my work to evolve, I would love to do much bigger pieces and also to try different mediums. I am currently thinking about a mix of clay and paper to be able to make monumental shapes without using a kiln.

by Bahar Ahu Sağın

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