I don’t remember the last time I discovered someone went to an art exhibition or strolled around one of London’s incredible, free museums, and didn’t feel to create an Instagram Story. Arguably and most certainly Roland Barthes would agree, art derives much of its interpretation from the spectator. What happens when the motive of the audience is to seek beauty, an expression of their values and aesthetics and to post about it? We meet Emmie Lou an artist all about abstract feminine energy, who has built her signature pale pink, texturised aesthetic through Instagram and her beautifully designed home.
What’s your professional background?
I studied Fine Art at Parsons Paris and then went on to Creative Direction and Styling at Instituto Marangoni in London. I feel so fortunate to experience both education styles. The creative technique and work ethic at Parsons combined with the professionalism and business knowledge from Marangoni, have all proven to be super helpful throughout my career!
Tell us about your paintings, is there a message? What’s the inspiration?
I aim to bring to life an abstract universe inspired by mystical femininity. Each piece is an oversized portal into an imaginary world where silhouetted figures are immersed in vibrant whimsical scenes. My main goal with each piece is to ‘lift’ the viewer to a state of joy and empowerment. I try to toe the line between full abstraction combined with figurative elements (that magical sweet spot in between is what I live for!)
N’Ayez Pas Peur De Dancer Seul
Directly translated this means “Don’t be Afraid to Dance Alone” in French. I wanted to play with this empowering message in an abstract format. The structured green square in a sea of swirling pink represents the person/the idea that it is ok ‘to dance alone’ in this world. When everyone goes right, it’s ok to go left as it were…
Rebecca Vallance skirt | S. Joon bag | vintage Escada jacket via HEWI | Paris Texas boots via Farfetch
Aje dress | Rebecca Vallance sequin top | S. JOON bag
From left to right: Un Bisou Dans Le Cou
This piece was inspired by a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerlald: “I don’t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there’ll always be the person I am tonight.”
The bumble bee as an animal totem serves as a reminder to trust in miracles. Aerodynamically speaking bees should not be able to fly. From a spiritual perspective, this speaks of our limitations and how to move past them. It’s doubtful that a bee knows it shouldn’t fly – it simply DOES, and so can you.
Noix De Coco
“The diffused magic of the hot, sweet south had withdrawn into them -the soft-pawed night and the ghostly wash of the Mediterranean far below.” – F Scot Fitzgerald
Inspired by the vintage decadence of the South of France. ‘Noix de Coco’ pays homage to a bygone era of Bardot and Birkins enjoying sweet sweaty summer nights under the stars. A coconut in a dream is generally considered to be an indication of well being and happiness.
La Sirena D’Amalfi
Inspired by a road trip of the Italian coast of Amalfi. La Sirena (meaning mermaid) is the focal point enjoying a gelato surrounded by blood oranges, Sicilian lemons and a bottle of Campari (naturally).
Paula Knorr blouse | Bimba Y Lola trousers
How do your interiors and art influence each other?
I love this question! The curved lines I love in interiors without doubt feeds into my painting style; I’m constantly aiming for a soft feminine curve with each stroke. From the Vertigo Pendant lamp hanging in my living room to the vintage Mario Bellini sofa and the asymmetrically curved Isamu Noguchi coffee table, it seems that my love of the curve is abundant in my interiors aesthetic too.
Throughout many of my pieces I reference a whimsical bygone era, whether it’s a summer in a 1960’s St Tropez to an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote, my love of vintage furniture and pieces that carry a story and character are definitely what I gravitate towards. With that in mind I would say 75% of our pieces are second hand, Selency, Vinterior and Sunbury Antiques market are the best for these gems!
Three Orchids Dancing In The Night’s Sky
Forever mesmerized by the beauty that lies within the depth of flora I wanted to explore the orchard’s world in maximalist detail. Taken from a photo I took of three orchids submerged underwater I wanted to then take them from the water to the sky through the play of celestial/night-time tones.
Dionysus (Middle Piece)
Inspired by Dionysus (the Greek God of Religious Ecstasy). I wanted to explore this altered state of consciousness through an abstract format. If you look closely you can see a tiny leopard to the left, this represents the link back to Dyonysus (they were his transportation of choice. I try to tow the line between full abstraction and figurative elements (that magical sweet spot in between is what I live for!)
What’s it like as a new artist? Is gallery representation essential now with the power of social media?
It feels like such an interesting and exciting time to be an artist! The power of social media has created opportunities and exposure for emerging artists in a way that just wasn’t possible 10 years ago. Saying that, I’ve never been with a gallery and I imagine that the wealth of knowledge and experience they can provide an artist is invaluable. In terms of sales though, if you have an engaged genuine and substantial following with a high conversion rate perhaps you can cut out the middle man? Who knows?
Lick me till Ice Cream – Mixed Media Collage
An anonymous face is made up of scraps of photographed textures weaved together to create a playful and cheeky composition. The ice cream serves as a reminder to take a step back and enjoy all the sweetness life has to offer.
Which artists do you admire?
Ah so many! Helen Frankenthaler is one of my all-time favourites. Her love of big scale and thin veils of colour are a huge inspiration for me. I constantly refer to this quote from her when I have creative block: “One really beautiful wrist motion, that is synchronised with your head and heart, and you have it.”
You’ve worked with Miller Harris, tell us about this collaboration.
They were launching their divine Secret Gardenia scent and very kindly asked me to collaborate and create a painting inspired by the piece. The piece is a play on the idea of the ‘Secret Garden’ within ourselves. The scent is inspired by London’s secret gardens locked away filled with clandestine flowers and I wanted to create a piece that explored the idea of the serenity and joy when you walk though these hidden gems.
What brand would you most like to work with next?
I’d love to design a print for a dress next… Rixo, Kitri, De La Vali, Rodarte you listening?
Prices start at £1800, contact Emmie for enquiries at [email protected]