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Tiphaine de Bodman’s vital need to create an artistic stratification of Nature

January 14, 2010 by · No comments

An interview with artist Tiphaine de Bodman by Maya Kolarova

Tiphaine de Bodman
Photo: Personal archive

    Tiphaine has been trained in illustration and graphics, with an ongoing passion for drawing, and obtained an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins in 2007.

    Tiphaine’s approach to drawing is unique in its meticulousness and compulsiveness.
    The laborious hours spent on sketching, as well as her thirst to analyze, go hand in hand with her love of scientific drawing and her focus on natural history, a theme that both is theoretically and aesthetically appealing.

    London’s Natural History Museum, paired with her Saint Martins laboratory-like studio space, have among other led her to dig into the mysteries of the human body leading the artist to explore the complex intricacies between Nature and mankind.

    Another vein of Tiphaine’s creative focus is her interest in what she calls the ‘gigantic microscopic nature’. She seeks inspiration from Nature, its atoms, minerals, rock formations, as well as from the perfection of Geometry.

    Her drawings, obsessive and intricate, remind us of zoomed microscope images. By blowing up details, she removes them from their initial context to recreate them as independent objects, to allow them to tell a new story. They surprisingly start looking like abstract landscapes, threatening meteorites or immense icebergs. Through this she achieves what she says is the most integral part of her creative process, ‘taking tiny things and celebrating the grandeur of intricacies’.

How did you get involved with the show “Let’s Go Home”? Why did it draw your attention? From what angles is the main topic represented in your work? Does it reflect the way you personally perceive the home? What does home represent for you?

I know the curator, Charlotte Friling, and I appreciate the way she works. As for me, “Let’s go home” represents a movement from outside to inside. From this statement, I decided to explore further our home, our shelter, and to decompose the architecture of the Earth. Thus in my work I speak about mineralogy, crystallography and strates.

Tiphaine de Bodman
Photo: Tiphaine de Bodman

Talking of art, to what extent does the art show your personality?

I am really curious. I love spending my time in natural history Museums. My work is a continual research, an in-depth analysis of Earth. I am trying to show the beauty and the originality of Nature with a particular view point: from the inside. I take interest in microscopic and geometric structure. Nature is creating his proper pieces of Art. “Earth is the most important artist” as said Alexis de Maud’huy in his manifest : “l’expressionnisme originel”.

Tiphaine de Bodman
Photo: Tiphaine de Bodman

Does your work bring a smile to your face?

Definitely yes. I spend hours and hours on one piece. It brings me satisfaction. I can’t quit drawing.

Tiphaine de Bodman
Photo: Tiphaine de Bodman

What is the creative process like for you? How does it happen? Do you think over an idea or just give in to the inspiration?

I have plenty of ideas going through my mind that I wish to make concrete. I don’t have enough time to realize all of them.

Tiphaine de Bodman
Photo: Tiphaine de Bodman

When do you feel more complete – while you are creating a certain work or when it is finished?

I feel more complete while I’m working. I need to draw. It’s vital for me.

Tiphaine de Bodman
Photo: Tiphaine de Bodman

What kinds of materials do you prefer working with? Do they influence your work?

I love working with poor materials. What’s better than a black pen and paper? It’s more challenging and I try to represent simple components of Nature. I need to adapt my materials.

Tiphaine de Bodman
Photo: Tiphaine de Bodman

How did your work change in time – what are the differences between your initial works and your present ones?

At the beginning, I was interested in analyzing interior of human bodies. While now, I am more focused on Nature. Today, I have more references or images in my mind. It allows me to understand where my work is situated on an historic and graphic period.

Tiphaine de Bodman
Photo: Tiphaine de Bodman

What do you want to evoke with your works – certain sensations, emotions, thoughts? Do you think you succeed?

Art compulsory plays on emotions and sensations. It needs to create a relation between artist and public. However, it’s not all about emotions: I convey my curiosity and my wish to analyse. I need to satisfy my curiosity and my wish to research. I’ll try to succeed.

Tiphaine de Bodman
Photo: Tiphaine de Bodman

Do you define yourself as a successful artist? And what does it take for one to say he/she is successful?

I’m not able to tell you if I am a successful artist. Ask the others. To say if an artist is successful needs a serious artistic, literary and historical background to judge. As for me, it’s important to have references to compare.

Tiphaine de Bodman
Photo: Tiphaine de Bodman

Is the success the most important thing for you? (If not – what is?)

The important thing is to use all my skills and to develop them.

Tiphaine de Bodman
Photo: Tiphaine de Bodman


    ‘Let’s go home’, group show, Hamburg. November 2009
    ‘Intricacies of Nature’, solo show, Librairie Les Jours Anciens, Paris. June 2009
    The Arts Gallery, Davies Street, Group show, London. April 2009
    Art Standing ‘Room for my Art’, Group show, Miami. December 2008
    Actif member of Catton Street Illustration Collective, London
    ‘London Arts’ Group show, Gallery F2, Tokyo, Japan. August 2007
    Central Saint Martins show, Group show, Mall Gallery, London. June 2007
    ‘Mid-Term’, Group show, Westbourne Studios, London. June 2006

    Commissioned projects
    2009 Patterns designs for Chanel, Paris
    2008 Drawings bought by Museum & Contemporary Collection at CSM, London
    2008 Designs for Paul Smith, London
    2007 Patterns designs for Alexander Mc Queen, London
    2006 Designs for Le Bon Marché Christmas Shop windows, Paris
    2004-2005 Commissioned Art-work for the Madame Figaro magazine, Paris
    2003 Commissioned illustrations for the TV Channel Canal+, Paris
    2002 Patterns designs for Nina Ricci, Paris

    2005 – 2007
    Masters in Communication Art and Design, Central Saint Martins School of Art & Design, London. Graduated with a distinction and mark of 94%
    2002 – 2005
    BA (Hons) 1st class in Graphic Design and Art Direction, Intuit Lab School, Paris
    2001 – 2002
    Art Foundation Course Intensive preparation for admission to the top French Art Schools, Atelier de Sèvres.

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