Lucie de Moyencourt
LUCIE dE MOYENCOURT
Photo Credit: Inge Prins
SOL chatted to the quirky, colourful and talented Cape Town based Artist Lucie de Moyencourt about her journey into the Art World, Alain De Botton, how the Venus of Botticelli makes her tick and her latest project around Shell We Dance?
You are French-born but grew up in South Africa. Tell us about this experience and how it plays out in your work?
I have spent 35 years in CT and only 1 in Paris! so I tend to feel more South African and my life is here, but I get a lot of my inspiration from trips to France. I always miss France if I haven't been in over a year, then I start to only watch French movies and read French books ( going through a French love affair phase at the moment! GET ME TO PARIS!) My Dads side of the family all live in Paris and I get so much inspiration from all of the art centres there. As I have never officially studied painting and drawing, my annual trips to Europe have always acted as my extended and continual art education! I spend my days in all the museums sketching like mad in my sketchbooks.
Has creativity always been a big part of your life?
Absolutely! I ve grown up in a hyper creative family, my mom is a ballet teacher, ex ballet dancer, she puts on amazing shows with her school every year. My dad is an Antique dealer and collector of beautiful and eclectic things, and my brother is a successful DJ and lover of music! Growing up around them, I was either going to rebel and become an accountant or join them!
One of your earliest memories of an Art piece or simple image that hugely impacted you and pushed you to your vocation?
My answer is rather embarrassing but it’s from my teenage self! Botticelli’s Birth of Venus in the Uffizi gallery in Florence is the first picture that comes to mind and has had a major impact in my work. I love her softness, and that she is coming ashore on a beautiful shell surrounded by beautiful flowers! I’m still growing my hair so that I can recreate the scene with myself in it! haha
How would you describe your relationship with Aesthetics on both a professional and personal level?
I would say that I have a very strong relationship with Aesthetics! I try to create original and beautiful things in my work and in my home. I have always loved this quote By Alain de Botton on Aesthetics which pretty much sums up my point of view on it all:
“Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect.”
Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel
Take us through your creative process coming up with a new body of work?
My next body of work will be an exhibition of ceramic sea shells which are wall hangings, inspired by Matisse’s cut outs. I discovered ceramics last year only and have become obsessed with them as part of my daily practice. I tend to work at home on my ceramics in the morning, then walk down to my studio to do painting and Illustration. on the 27th April my studio show of ceramics will be up! Follow them on Instagram @SHELLegance
What inspires you daily and where do you go to find it?
I go to my studio! It’s a tiny room in the centre of Cape Town above my friend Michael Chandler’s magical gallery. I love pottering around in my studio, chatting with my colleagues there. But I guess I also get tons of inspiration from long trips to Europe every year, as well as walking the streets of Cape Town (since I have sold my car, I have loved being a pedestrian in my city)
Can you tell us a little bit more about your latest collections?
Well as you now know I fell in love with Botticelli’s Venus as a teenager and as my family has a beach house on the coast of South Africa I grew up picking up seashells and making mer-palaces in rockpools. Now that I am an adult I’ve wanted to turn our courtyard into a grotto like space! haha ( my boyfriend is completely against this) but anyways I started making these shells to hang on the walls, and got so much interest that I decided to have a small studio show of shells last year called SHELL we dance?, the show sold out on the first day and I ve now incorporated shell making and painting into my daily practice. It’s great to change mediums in the day! it keeps things fresh and exciting.
How do you envision the role of the Artist in years to come?
I Think the Artist will have a key role in connecting our emotional, human selves to an increasingly digitized world.
Do you believe in Creative Collaboration? If so, are there any creatives you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Absolutely! Collaborations are fun and exciting as the end result is always a surprise! I love collaborating with Michael Chandler on our big big big Bosjes Ceramic Bural
https://bosjes.co.za/en/gallery/ and I would love to collaborate with fashion designers to put my work onto textiles...
What do you make of the Creative Scene in South Africa?
I think the creative scene in South Africa is alive and kicking! I Often think of how much incredible and original talent we have here, and how the rest of the world seems to be looking at Africa. Its our time to shine!
Some of your professional highlights so far?
I love painting at the Cannes film festival, this year will be my 4th consecutive year and I ve got a 10 year plan! Please follow my sketchbook at @lucie.in.wonderlands It is such fun acting like a journalist, capturing the daily happenings at the festival, I believe it’s the best people watching space, therefor the best people sketching space as well.Working on a large ceramic mural for the new design hotel Gorgeous George on St Georges Mall in CT is also a huge highlight. Other cool clients of mine include Babylonstoren hotel and farm in the Winelands, the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, as well as Instagram Paris.
Any exciting new projects on the horizon that you would like to mention?
I am doing a silk scarf collaboration with Rovos rail trains ( the most luxurious train in Africa) this is really fun! its an Hermes-ish inspired scarf with all of the elements of train travel across Africa
Where can one creep on your work?
My website contains all of my collection: www.luciedemoyencourt.com
and Facebook: Studiodeluciemoyencourt
Finally if you could be summed up in one art piece- yours or someone else’s- what would it be and why?
Great question! I can’t think of an art piece, but an image of an octopus comes to mind! An octopus with many different brushes and utensils, doing everything at the same time!