Making it in her own world...

There’s an exercise that’s often done in art classes where you’re asked to look at your subject, then close your eyes and with pen to paper, just draw. It’s a flip of a switch kind of feeling, a welcome and liberating escape from the rational mind. Artist Caroline Denervaud’s creative approach is similarly both primitive and instinctive. ‘It’s not about being uninhibited, she says, ‘but exploring without rules, codes, seduction… It has to be pure, no artifice, no guidelines.’

Her first love was dance, she trained for a time at the Laban in London, and in movement she found an easy and natural way to express herself. 'I've always created, imagined, dreamed,' says Denervaud who works from her home in Paris, where she has lived for 19 years, with her two children and a cat. ‘And I’m quite wild and solitary. I love to be in my world.' 

Alone in her studio, she often films the process, using her body as a tool to move, trace and paint. Watching the gestural vignettes you see a dialogue unfold between movement and marks. ‘The videos are about gestures,’ she offers, ‘simple ways of moving without any envy of aesthetics. They are pure improvisations about being here and now with this body.’

That’s not to say that there’s no prior preparation. She considers and creates an original soundtrack for each video she makes and clothes play an important role too. (Denervaud studied fashion at the Beaux-Arts of Paris and at the Sudio Berço.) ‘The clothes are the first thing I choose,’ she says, ‘I’m always looking for a dress to wear, it has to be feminine and the way it moves is important.’

There’s a knowing appreciation and incorporation of aesthetics, in Denervaud’s ongoing collaborative project with friend and photographer Pascaline Dargant. Named ‘The Heidies’ a nod to their shared Swiss heritage they work in a spontaneous way. ‘We have an idea, a spot, time and we go.’ The results are sculptural freeze frames, living somewhere between fashion editorial and art photography.

Despite the dynamism of her process Denervaud is demure about the future, ‘I will have some exhibitions this winter, that will have some nice perspectives….but I will keep on exploring, no theme, just a balance-unbalanced.’