Behind any landmark art exhibition, play or elaborate costume, one might never fully appreciate the work involved in making it happen. In her latest series, French figurative artist Lucile Gauvain seeks to explore the often laborious creative process itself, celebrating the very magic that happens behind the scenes.
The next time you go to the theatre or local gallery, you might be in awe of the completed work on display, but did you ever think about the true sacrifice and thinking involved in bringing it to life? This is what Lucile Gauvain urges us to consider in a new series titled On a Daily Basis.
Each of the 12 new and never-before-seen coloured pencil drawings reveals the very artists creating their own works, that's whether they're preparing for a ballet show, weaving a wearable beaded dress or baking and icing a decadent cake. In all honesty, this isn't just an awareness of the graft and wonder that happens throughout the creative process; it's a celebration of the entire creative industry and its people.
It comes as no surprise, then, to understand a little more of Lucile's background. She began her journey to art in the world of movies and movie set design. She is undoubtedly a graphic designer and illustrator of exceptional skill with a solid list of art-house movie credits to her name, including Julian Schnabel's At Eternity's Gate and Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch. But in recent years, she has honed her personal style and found her voice in painting strikingly surreal scenes and alternate worlds that speak to shared experiences even as they blur the lines between fantasy and reality.
For this, her latest body of work, we see a genuine passion for creativity and how what some might consider the hidden and dull aspects of making is, in fact, the wondrous part of what it means to be a creative professional working today. Soft, delicate and in an array of pleasing pastel hues, In On a Daily Basis considers the joy of creating art from the lens of artists and craftspeople who know better than most the near equal importance of practice and imagination to their craft. "I aim to reshape our perception of routine and mundane activities in the arts because I have found that often, the magic of creative work does not reside in the final object or artwork but in the process of making it," she says.
On show at London's HOFA Gallery from this Friday until 7 September, On a Daily Basis is described as an "exploration of the magical alchemy that happens as the mundane and the fantastical combine during the creative process. It represents an important juncture in the evolution of contemporary art as the creative process becomes the subject matter, and artists themselves become characters on canvas".
"What would our narrative identity be without the pleasant habits, the repetitive tasks carried out daily?" Lucile adds. "Those ephemeral moments linking the banality of process with the fantasy of creation are moments of magic where art is born."