An Emotional Response: Interviewing Artist Iris Legendre | In The Dotlight

Meet Iris Legendre, a fine artist from Versailles, France. Her work has been deservingly exhibited in Paris, Portugal, Australia and now London, where she currently resides. Her latest series "Constellations" depicts varying clusters of dark numbers arranged sporadically on a contrasting white background, interacting with geometric lines and delicately detailed drawings of single facial features softly drawn in cold blue pencil. Her incredibly emotional series won us over when she submitted her work to our LIFTED'17 art competition for local emerging artists. The empathy depicted in her drawings are simply captivating. We couldn't wait to see what she had to say about her own work:

[DYD] What was your biggest inspiration when creating the pieces that we featured for this show?

[IL] For "Constellation" I was thinking of a kind of oracle or omen, which is present in several of my series. Cold numbers and geometrical shapes related to sentimental fragments of faces seem to reveal a mysterious presage. I don’t believe in numerology at all, but it is quite the inspiration. In the same way, I did a series inspired by palmistry, and voodoo.

[DYD] Can you tell us a bit about your process?

[IL] It is spontaneous. I don’t want to illustrate a concept, but I try to produce an intriguing image. Usually I have a vague idea, and I let it evolve testing different shapes, formats, colours etc. When the image seems coherent, visually evident and strong, that's when I think I've found the right balance.

[DYD] Are there any artists/ styles /periods that inspire you? Why?

[IL] There are so many, randomly I could say Van der Weyden, Memling, Michaël Borremans, Oda Jaune, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Louise Bourgeois, Wolfgang Tillmans, François Clouet, Francis Bacon, Kara Walker, Damien Cadio, Diane Arbus. I look a lot at other artists’ work, including artists whose works are very different from my own practice.

[DYD] What made you decide to apply for this competition?

[IL] I think it is important to get the works out of the studio and to share it. Open Calls are a great way to show the works, I really encourage art students and young artists to do it. This competition is engaged in supporting young artists, and Genesis is a place I already liked, I've seen good works in the gallery space.


[DYD] What's your favourite thing to do outside of making art?

[IL] It might seem a bit monomaniac but I am quite focused on visual arts, when I am not making art, often I am teaching art, watching an art documentary or visiting a gallery. I’m quite into movies as well.

[DYD] What projects are you working on next?

[IL] I am used to small formats but for my series "Ecchymosis" of an almost abstract style of watercolour paintings, I think they could have more impact on larger formats, because colour needs space to express properly. So that’s gonna be my next project. Also I want to experiment different ways to present my drawings, not only hanging them on a wall. I am working on a new series of graphite drawings mounted on casters, so they can move in the gallery space!

[DYD] Where else can we find your art?

[IL] On my website and on Instagram @iris.legendre

To see Iris Legendre's work in person visit our group exhibition LIFTED'17 from November 1st - December 12th, 2017 at the Genesis Cinema Gallery Space which features artwork from the other competition winners Nasima Bibi and Mica McDonald. Click here for more details about the exhibition or visit Iris' website to see more of her artwork.

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Lauren Little

Lauren was born in London, but grew up in Canada where she received her degrees with distinction in Fine Arts and Education. Now she's back, she continues her work in creative arts by making art and teaching it, while developing opportunities for early career artists by creating and running the online platform Dark Yellow Dot.

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