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Emille de Blanche Inspired By Society & Public Spaces

Swedish Artist Emille de Blanche talks about her work and the art scene in Stockholm.

Emille De Blanche

Can you share a few words about the city you are living in and how is the local art scene?

Emille: Stockholm has been my base for the past ten years and prior to that I have been moving around a lot, not really knowing where to stay. But I’ve come to appreciate this city for its diversity and possibilities, even though it sometimes can feel a bit small with its one million inhabitants. Everybody pretty much knows everybody, and if you haven’t met yet, you are soon about to.

As in any other capital city we`re also fighting gentrification and artists are being forced to work under enviable circumstances with insecure demolition contracts. My last studio was wiped out in favor of a parking lot, and pretty much all my artist friends work under the same circumstances. I’d say that the local art scene very much is evolving around the established galleries and their clients, but at the same time that also pushes artists to invent new ways of showing their works, outside the white boxes.

How would you describe your work and what are your main influences?

Society is my main inspiration. In, out and through. Some subjects linger on and transform into the next project and some just stays for a while. Lately though I’ve been working mainly with themes regarding the public space, who it belongs to and who defines who in it. And also themes connecting to fears in society. It is something that grew out from my last projects and it is something that interests me a lot. So… I guess I’d have to say that the public space is one of my main sources of inspiration.

What made you want to become an artist?

Art allows me to be free, in my thoughts and in my expression. It allows for grand gestures as well as finding my own way. To not just exist, but to explore. And it helps me to keep my eyes open at all times.

Chain#1, 2015, plaster, metal, textile, epoxy, silicone, wood, 1000 x 40 x 160 cm

"Lately I’ve been working mainly with themes regarding the public space, who it belongs to and who defines who in it"

Are there any artists in particular that you identify with today?

Lately I’ve been digging through minimalist literature, always felt a strong bond with the concepts of Robert Morris. Using a lot of industrial materials myself, it is fascinating to read about the creation of a movement and the ideas that splurged out of the wish to break free from the modernist shackles and create something different and fresh. Very inspiring. I’m also looking at a lot of brutalist architecture which I feel is such a gem of inspiration. Tunga is another artist I respect a lot, but for quite other reasons, his ability to create a totally own universe evolving around his own mysticism that somehow make all sense, I think that is a huge artistic accomplishment. Shioban Hapaska works so naturally with materials, and are keeping it subjective in a time where many opt for easiness. Tara Donovan creates pretty insane installations out of ordinary materials. And there’s many more…you know, sometimes it’s just an era or a few works, or the artist personal energy. Hard to specify what it is that grabs you sometimes.

Borderland (IV), 2016, Iron, 100 x 100 x 25 cm

What are you working on currently or your plans for the near future?

It’s quite hectic and incredible times at the moment. This week I’m preparing for the opening of my solo exhibition at Hotorgsterrassen (2nd September to the 14th of September) in the center of Stockholm, it is a citypark that has been closed for 40 years but are now finally being opened to the public again. I’m installing two quite large works and it is somewhat intense with the last minute preparations and making everything work. But I am working with an amazing assistance so I’m sure everything’s going to be grand in the end. After that I am going to St Petersburg, Russia, to be a part of the V Baltic Biennale of Contemporary Art at the New Museum (Novymusem) between 19th of September to the 2nd of October. Something I am incredible excited about. Also going to try to take some time off while in Russia and just explore St Petersburg before coming back to Stockholm and continuing with the research for my new project Shelters.

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