The artist Lia Rochas-Páris received us at her place, in Paris, to talk about her career, her projects but also her link with Sessùn.
Photography : Clément Jolin.
Who are you ?
I’m an artist, I’m also the curator of the Shelves exhibition and I create photo stories.
Tell us about how you got to where you are now ?
I was born in Paris into an artistic family: my father was a painter, and my mother a contemporary dancer. So, as you can imagine, I was surrounded by art from a very early age. While studying for a degree in Aesthetics (philosophy), I worked as a stylist on fashion magazines and also liked making collages in my spare time. Then, I was given the opportunity to exhibit my work, so I decided to stop working in fashion and devote my time to making art. I produced illustrations for magazines and continued to exhibit my collages. I then decided to work on a series of photo-stories. My idea being to leave a lasting visual testimony of my era viewed from a unique perspective. Also, for the past three years, I have invited other artists to exhibit their objects of inspiration on a shelf in my home as part of an ongoing project I call Shelves. I like the idea of shaking up the preconception of what an art exhibition is supposed to be. With this ever-changing installation piece, the creative process is as important as the end result.
Tell us about your work.
Whatever medium I work in, I view everything as a puzzle - made up of bits and pieces that need bringing together. In the early days, my collages were very dense, and lavish, whereas nowadays, whether it’s a drawing, sculpture or collage, I try to get a balance between empty and full, what the Japanese call "Ma". We often ask artists to define their work, I prefer to leave it up to the viewer to interpret my work as they wish. It's a way of letting go, you can't control everything.
Where do you get your inspiration from ?
From everything around me: the lyrics of a song, a film, a bunch of flowers, a book, a photo album, a shop sign, conversations with friends. The creative process fascinates me. We all have different ways of absorbing information and transforming it into something meaningful. When you’re an artist, you often find yourself alone in front of your creation. It’s a place where it’s difficult to acknowledge one’s own accomplishment. I find the balance between these moments of quiet and the moments I share with my daughter and my mother, the two women in my life: we dance every day - my mother continued to dance until she was 8 months pregnant! You could say that mine is a story of mothers and daughters.
I am also fortunate to be surrounded by a group of very precious and loyal friends, and who are all very connected to 2.0, unlike me. I very much believe in chance encounters and exchanging ideas, whether it be with people with whom I share conversations and ideas or with objects that convey a story.
What is your typical day like ?
In the morning, I start my day with a cuddle from my daughter before having a large glass of warm water (my inner shower). In the evening, I read my daughter a story and then read a book myself. I try not to look at screens at night to enable me to digest my day - even if, I have to admit, it's not always easy to be disciplined.
The clothes that suit you best ?
The taste or smell that brings back memories ?
The smell of oil paint, turpentine, varnish, varnish, strong glue - they take me back to my childhood when I used to go to my father's art studio. These were privileged moments when time stood still.
Three things you always carry in your bag ?
Lip balm, a pack of Vogue’s and my phone.
What does Sessùn mean to you ?
Timelessness and elegance. I discovered the brand when I was a teenager. Sessùn clothes don't wear out. It's so nice to be able to wear quality clothes over the years.
Your favourite piece of clothing or accessory from the Winter 2018 collection ?
Hmmm.... That’s not easy, as there are a few! The Galway Sandshell jumper and Nema trousers in navy – the cut is perfect ! I also love the Hudson street trousers in honey.