A WOMAN INSPIRED BY LIFE
I go to https://www.carmonnfrench.com.au/ .
I am struck by the clean, raw form of the site. The red square informs that here I can enter the world of the new exhibition 2020.
I'm going in.
This time I am not struck by raw simplicity, but by the enormity of expression, movement, lines and emotions told. Emotions closed by the artist's hand in the square of her works. But are they actually closed? Carmonn belongs to this group of artists whose works live their own lives, and the recipient can feel the dynamics and traces of fingerprints of the heart.
And here it is, specially for Fourth Son . Painter and sculptor. Carmonn French.
FS : Where is the beginning of your path? What was the inspiration to create your own brand?
CF : I've never considered it a brand actually, but I guess I would have to say the beginning is when I was 13 and I often had to wait around for my sister to finish dance class after school for hours and hours. One day I distinctly remember, I was on a train with my book and pen and I just sort of started to draw... and I couldn't stop drawing. I didn't necessarily know how to draw as such, but I created this indistinct thing that made me feel like “This is what I have to keep doing”. That's kind of how I realised that I was an artist: That I just like scribbling.
FS: Your work is very intense. Watching your movies from the act of creation, I get the impression of an intimate relationship between you and creation. Where lies the idea of an individual project?
CF: I'm very inspired by people and how every individual has their own story. When I draw a face, I'm not only interested in what people say, but also what they don't say. I want to capture how they make me feel through my drawings. This is how I draw the faces but it can work for all of my pieces as I am always just trying to communicate how things hit me in a sensory way.
FS: Tell me more about the techniques and materials you use in your work.
CF: Use whatever you have around you, any paintbrush you can grab. I used a lot of sticks in my last exhibition. Either end of a toothbrush is a good one too. As for technique, I would say: don't think about technique. I feel like the more staged I get with my work, it seems to feel more suffocated. Instead of technicalities I would say it's more about getting into a flow state where you can trust in what you're creating without thinking about it too hard.
FS: Can you tell about the "Carmonn French 100 faces" project?
CF: 100 Faces was an idea that I had for a very long time and eventually I just had to get it out. I wanted to make sure it was intense and I felt like the way that could be communicated was to make it actually kind of harsh to look at using ink on paper in a white room with black frames. A really raw way to see people.
FS: You are open to contact with the recipient, cooperation. You don't lock yourself in the four walls of your own studio. It seems that the world is a great playground for your imagination. Tell about the world seen through the glass of your sensitivity.
CF: I guess my sensitivity to the world would make me very reactive to everything around me. So, while my inspiration does come from living life, I do feel like my studio is where I go to ground everything, you need that quiet time to process and reflect and see what comes out.
FS: Your path is the path of an independent artist. Freelancer women. How do you assess the stages of your independent career in retrospect? What is it like to be a businesswoman and an artist in one person?
CF: It sucks because a part of you knows that in order to be relatable, you have to consider your audience, but then the other side of you being a artist knows that you shouldn't consider the audience and stay true to who you are. So it comes down to trying to balance them both as much as possible. Knowing that you have to sell an artwork to make the next one doesn't mean that you have to sell yourself short as long as you know your own strength and my strength is getting shit done. And if you can't do something, identify what you need to get it done.
FS: What is Carmonn French currently working on?
CF: I've been doing a lot of line-work, water colour pieces, sculptures and all other mixed medias for my new exhibition. This one revolves around people as well, but differs from 100 Faces, as this is more of a case study. It is a mixed series of story telling... How can you visualise stories and experiences and the impact that someone has had on you? Other than that I am always working on a huge range of commissions and even have something coming to Parliament House in 2021.
One of the most talented artists I've ever met! He puts his heart and soul in every piece. You can feel the real relationship between Carmonn and the works she creates. I follow her instagram as a daily dose of creativity! I would highly recommend.
-Dimitri Lucas, customer
Carmonn French has more creativity in the left nail than most of us throughout our lives! Her paintings are excellent; colorful, delicate and beautiful. Canalises French elegance. I just love her job.
-Sonya Furlong, customer