Checking In with Marion Delarue

Annette K. Brown


Far more than 100 international artists applied for this year’s Young Artist Award. Marion Delarue was preferred as a single of the finalists. She received an unrestricted hard cash award of US$1,000 and will show her get the job done in Platina’s booth at Schmuck, in July 2022. Her operate represents a group of superb items of modern day jewellery. We requested her to inform us a bit about her track record and ideas on the potential of the artwork jewellery subject. Hers is the third of our interviews with the honorees. (Browse the interview with Younger Artist Award winner Mallory Weston below. Our job interview with finalist Taisha Carrington is right here.)

AJF’s Young Artist Award acknowledges assure, innovation, and individuality, advancing the occupations of rising artists. The competition was open up to makers of wearable art age 35 and below who are not currently enrolled in a qualified training software. Judging was centered on originality, depth of notion, and high quality of craftsmanship. This year’s jurors ended up 2020 AJF Artist Award winner MJ Tyson (US) collector and gallerist Karen Rotenberg (US) and educator and curator Chequita Nahar (The Netherlands).

Marion Delarue, Parrot Devotee
Marion Delarue, Parrot Devotee, 2021, shoulder brooch, organic goose, rooster, and pigeon feathers, rice paper pulp, steel, silver, 80 x 57 x 27 mm, image courtesy of the artist

Bonnie Levine: How did you come to be interested in jewellery? What conjures up your perform?  

Marion Delarue: I have normally been a great supporter of objects, but jewelry was very exclusive. When I turned 15, I dreamt I would a single working day go to the École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg (these days identified as Listen to), which was the only French graduate artwork school to have a master’s diploma in contemporary jewelry. (The École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Limoges now also operates these a application.)

Funnily adequate, when I was admitted, I wondered whether or not I preferred to join the ceramics section to come to be a sculptress instead. But very swiftly I identified applying just one single material very annoying. On top rated of that, I felt I couldn’t shell out as a great deal awareness to specifics as I wished, specified the sizing of the will work.

I soon returned to my 1st appreciate. Led by Sophie Hanagarth and Florence Lehmann, the modern jewelry division was a fantastic in shape: a conceptual strategy, fantastic freedom, and infinite experimentations. We also experienced limitless obtain to all the other workshops, this sort of as ceramics, glass, wood, and so on. This was genuinely crucial to me as I was—already at that time—avoiding metallic get the job done, mainly because I had no affinity with the substance (until it is metal that does not get alongside with me?) and liked deciding upon the products most fitting for each individual piece.

What does currently being a finalist necessarily mean for you? Will it affect you heading forward?

Marion Delarue: Staying a finalist means a large amount to me. I come to feel truly honored. I have been applying for 10 many years, considering the fact that I was a college student. I’ve stored an eye on the level of competition. This 12 months was my final opportunity to use!

I hope that staying a finalist will be a stepping-stone to a lengthy-lasting romance with the US art jewellery discipline. (I frequented for the very first time in 2019, as part of NYCJW, and I completely liked it!)

Marion Delarue, Parrot Devotee
Marion Delarue, Parrot Devotee, 2021, shoulder brooch, pure goose, rooster, and pigeon feathers, rice paper pulp, steel, silver, 80 x 57 x 27 mm, image courtesy of the artist

Explain to us about the do the job you applied with.  

Marion Delarue: My operate typically produces confusion involving authenticity and imitation, mother nature and artifice, referencing simulacrum, fake pretenses, and lures.

The two jobs I utilized with illustrate this thought in different approaches.

The 1st venture is the newest piece from my collection Parrot Devotees. The idea of artifice and duplicity is embodied listed here by way of the quite picture of the parrot. “Every human becoming has a parrot on his shoulder (…),” mentioned Cocteau about imitation.

A barnyard fowl swoons with admiration and jealousy in excess of a parrot: the incredibly lovely chook enjoys a specific intimacy with its master, whose shoulder he perches on to converse. In a drive to move by themselves off as the parrot, the poultry birds organize on their own and set alongside one another their most stunning feathers to re-develop the illusion of his presence.

Marion Delarue, Tennennomono
Marion Delarue, Tennennomono, 2019–2021, Kushis (combs), Kogais (hair sticks), and Kanzashis (hairpins), bone, wooden, shell, stone, horse hoof, variable dimensions, picture courtesy of the artist. Artist-in-residence job at Villa Kujoyama, Kyoto, Japan, in 2019.

The second job is the fruit of study performed even though I was in an artist residency at Villa Kujoyama, in Japan, in 2019. In the course of the Edo interval, Japanese girls applied quite distinct objects to aid their imposing hairstyles: Kushis (combs), Kogais (hair sticks), and Kanzashis (hairpins), whose utilitarian perform lessened right until they grew to become purely decorative. Through my six-month residency in Kyoto—the heart of refinement in the arts and the cradle of hair accessories—I strived to determine the singularities and specificities of these remarkable objects, focusing on the most attribute high quality: the decoration.

This sequence has been conceived from bone, wood, shell, stone, and horse hoof. These are elements of pure origin traditionally employed for producing Japanese hair ornaments. (I excluded ivory, coral, and turtle shell for moral and regulatory reasons.) The goal is to look for inside these “raw materials” for decorative functions inherent to them, to harness their “natural patterns” and their uncommon chromatic shades: to expose the sudden in the familiar. Enjoying with the confusion involving the pure and the decorative, the pieces build ambiguity and destabilize the viewer.

Marion Delarue, Kushi (comb)
Marion Delarue, Kushi (comb), 2021, wooden, 115 x 47 x 6 mm, picture courtesy of the artist

What excites you about the art jewelry discipline?   

Marion Delarue: Simply because the area is so market, each individual challenge you operate swiftly becomes global. Your jewellery friends normally occur from all about the planet and you have to have to journey to go to the occasions focused to the subject. You wouldn’t do considerably, doing the job only in your have state (primarily in France, the place the scene is mostly under-represented). Funnily sufficient, despite, or alternatively for the reason that of its size, the playing ground is large!

Also, I am fascinated by the range of products and approaches utilized, as effectively as the creativeness I experience each working day. You can never get bored. I think this is rather one of a kind.

Marion Delarue, Kanzashi (hairpin)
Marion Delarue, Kanzashi (hairpin), 2021, shell, 163 x 5 x 5 mm, picture courtesy of the artist

Any frustrations that you see or have seasoned?  

Marion Delarue: I would like there were far more theorists and art critics specialised in the field. I am convinced that they could become an vital aspect in the system of questioning and understanding art jewellery. They would certainly tremendously guidance the growth and the vigor of the subject.

Marion Delarue, Kogai (hair stick)
Marion Delarue, Kogai (hair stick), 2021, stone, 158 x 19 x 7 mm, photograph courtesy of the artist

Where by do you consider the artwork jewelry field is heading? Do you see new and interesting traits?

Marion Delarue: I have the emotion that its publicity and recognition are escalating 12 months just after yr, many thanks to prizes this sort of as this a person. Certain, there is continue to education to be done, and I hope the general public will be sensitized to this industry like it is to other art fields. But I consider we are on the suitable track!

Marion Delarue, Kushi (comb)
Marion Delarue, Kushi (comb), 2021, stone, 145 x 46 x 5 mm, image courtesy of the artist

If you could compose a master plan for your observe, the place would you like to be five several years from now?

Marion Delarue: This will most likely seem both terribly pretentious and ludicrous if none of this takes place, but let’s give it a attempt.

I hope to have my have studio in the countryside all-around Paris, absolutely outfitted with intricate equipment inside, and two longhaired goats, a puppy, a duck pond, and, past but not the very least, fruit trees at the doorstep. I hope I’ll get a probability to operate again in Japan, a region which I located exceptionally inspiring. I hope to have an possibility to go again to New York to study or to show. I hope I’ll be element of artist residencies around Europe, significantly in Sweden and in the Netherlands, which I’ve visited pair of occasions and in which I met extraordinary people. I typically hope not to seem preposterous in 2027.


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