Welcome to this 11th episode of the Dior Talks podcast ‘Feminist Art’. This series explores the connections between Creative Director of Women’s collections Maria Grazia Chiuri, and contemporary women artists and curators.
In this episode, series host Katy Hessel, a London-based curator, writer and art historian, speaks with Eva Jospin, the French artist whose monumental embroidered work lined the walls of the show space at the Musée Rodin for the Autumn-Winter 2021-2022 haute couture collection unveiled on July 5, 2021.
Eva Jospin was born in Paris, France, in 1975. She gave up her initial interest in architecture to study sculpture at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, preferring the physicality of the process. Graduating in 2002, she has become known for her sculptural work using cardboard as a material, building up and combining its flat planes to create striking and very often large-scale pieces of complex depth depicting forests, caves, and country homes. With her art having been exhibited in prestigious locations such as the Palais de Tokyo, Manufacture des Gobelins, Musée du Louvre and the Hayward Gallery, she has also been an artist in residence at the
Villa Medici in Rome.
It was while in Rome that she discovered the Sala dei Ricami at the Palazzo Colonna, a sumptuous room entirely upholstered in Indian-inspired embroideries. It would prove the inspiration for her collaboration with Maria Grazia Chiuri, a “project that went from big to huge”. Her initial drawings would be developed into a work 40 meters long and 350m2, embroidered by hand by the Chanakya ateliers and the Chanakya School of Craft in Mumbai, India, a phenomenal undertaking requiring in the region of 300 artisans deploying some 400 colors of silk thread in 150 variations of traditional techniques.
In this episode she discusses how she looked to the palette of post-Impressionist painter Edouard Vuillard and the way he built color and perception of depth by utilizing the canvas itself as an intrinsic element. She speaks about how the name of her awe-inspiring installation ‘Chambre de Soie’ (‘Silk Room’), is also a reference to Virginia Woolf’s seminal feminist treatise ‘A Room of One’s Own’, known as ‘Une Chambre à Soi’ in French. With the use of textiles a complete departure, she opens up about embracing this new form of artistic expression and the process behind appreciating the scale and conceiving a visual flow for her expansive installation.