One to Watch

Blandine Bardeau

French artist Blandine Bardeau currently lives and works in London, UK. She received a BA in Fashion Design Womenswear from Central Saint Martins in 2009, and went on to receive an MA in Painting from The Glasgow School of Art in 2012. Blandine uses contrasting colors in order to make the brilliantly colored biomorphic creatures that dance across the surface of her artworks seemingly pop out against the white backgrounds. She is currently exhibited by Caiger Contemporary Gallery, London, and Curious Duke Gallery, London.

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
I think that the themes in my work always have to do with transformation, with something shifting and ever-evolving. Most of my pieces touch on the ethereal and give birth to abstract (with sometimes a hint of figuration) beings and creatures. What interests me is to give birth, to bring life to the living things that may appear on canvas. I am as surprised as the spectator to see them appear, out of nowhere. I am always very influenced by nature and its creatures, specifically the deep sea. Anything that swims with great tentacles fascinates me. I also love food and cooking, which is another form of painting.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
To show up everyday and to carry on, however hard and frustrating it may all seem.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I have a particularly sweet tooth for radio podcasts from the US such as “Radiolab” or “This American Life.” I also love BBC Radio 4’s “Desert Island Discs” or “Woman’s Hour.” Sometimes I’ll have music on, but the trouble is that my studio complex has cubicles with no ceilings, so everyone can hear if I am playing music. So most of the time I play a podcast as well as my neighbour’s podcast in Danish.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Ah! Very very difficult question… I would give a different answer every time, but today I’ll go for Cy Twombly’s Untitled Painting (Say Goodbye Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor) (A Painting in Three Parts) (1994).

Who are your favorite writers?
Rainer Maria Rilke, Mary Oliver, Hélène Cixous, and Alessandro Baricco.