Fresh from the studio, we chat with artist Louise Dear and discover the inspiration behind her new and exclusive bathroom collections.
Have you ever wondered where your favourite artists draw inspiration from? Perhaps you’ve looked at a stunning work of art and wanted to know more about the story behind it? Well, here at Victoria Plum, we’re incredibly privileged to be working closely with one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary artists, Louise Dear, to create 5 more fabulous collections based on some of her most famous paintings—and Louise has kindly let us into her world, allowing us a unique insight into the life and mind of an artist. Just a few weeks ago, I gave Louise a call…
Nicky Kingston: Hi Louise. Thanks so much for taking some time out to chat with me today. The first thing our customers are likely to want to know is, are there any stories which inspired these 5 paintings?
Louise Dear: “My works do always have a story yet sometimes this is difficult to put into words—otherwise, I suppose, I would be a writer rather than a visual artist. They are always joyful and fun, playing with the lighter, more frivolous and fun aspects of life. Complete paintings come to me, something like a vision and then they change and evolve as I work on the individual piece, the painting itself taking the lead, guiding me towards what it wants to become. I have signature symbols, metaphors that appear in different guises. Black and white, a striking visual yet also suggesting the juxtaposing forces within us all.
Pink flowers and abstract forms represent the feminine, abstract background overlaid with ordered stripes represent both chaos and order, contrasting energies within each and every one of us. The figure used portrays aspects of womanhood, proud and strong, feminine and flirtatious, kind and capable and all the incredible things that we are. My aim is that the viewer will see elements of themselves in the images I portray and make them smile, evoking feelings of joy, peace, harmony and the total deliciousness of being at one.
NK: How has the pandemic affected you? Has this had any impact on your work or creative style?
LD: For many years I have wanted to find a winter retreat in the sunny South of France and last year we took the plunge and booked a winter rental. After a deliciously sun filled chilly season, we were just packing up to return home when news of the pandemic broke and the world effectively closed down. We were forced to stay and, as with everyone else, embrace the situation. Luckily, as an artist, I am used to the isolation. This pause gave me a real moment to reconnect with my practise and I became totally absorbed with my work. I didn’t have a full studio, so I had to adapt to the materials I had at hand and, unusually, began to work on paper. I loved the chance to be so self-indulgent with my creative process and created a completely new body of work called “Lockdown Lovelies”—the first of which has just been released as a limited edition print.
NK: What is the bathroom like in your new home?
My new bathroom is dreamy! Literally a dream as it doesn’t exist just yet, we haven’t even had the mezzanine floor built where it will be placed. But it will be white and neutral and full of plants. Dominated by an oversized bath in the centre with a huge window above, so I’ll be able to relax and watch the flamingos fly across the oh so blue Mediterranean sky.
NK: Is your artistic style reflected in your choice of interiors too?
I do like a little splash of pink here and there but usually keep that to a minimum. Generally, I like to have contrasts: super modern and traditional, old, antique-y side by side. I’m fairly minimalist when it comes to my home—I can’t cope with all that dusting around objects. I prefer a few really good quality pieces rather than a lot of old tat…tee-hee!
NK: One question I simply have to ask. Out of the new series of artworks which form the basis of the new collections, which is your favourite?
LD: There Are No Rules. The original painting sold very quickly; I would have liked to have lived with it for just a little longer. I love the limited palette and the strength of colour. Vivid pinks against the constraining blacks of the background stripes. I’m very tempted to have this piece in my own new bathroom.
NK: Out of the 5 new collections, which is your most recent design?
LD: The Love Affair is the most recent and is actually my partner’s all time favourite. He loves the gentle seduction of the piece, like seeing one's lover as you wake.
NK: Absolutely one of my favourites too! And which is the more “senior” design?
LD: Ooh Yeah! This piece was created in a tiny beach hut overlooking Brighton Pier and the ocean. It was crazy; freezing and sometimes wildly windy but I was totally inspired by the frenzy of tourists. It was part of a new body of work called “Day Trippers”.
NK: It sounds like you need a lot of energy! Do you think you’ll always be creating and designing?
LD: Yes! It is in my blood, in my bones. I live, sleep, dream new paintings, ideas and designs. It is the core of my being. It is who I am.
Find out more about our exclusive new collections
For a bathroom that really tells a story, discover more about these 5 exciting new collections. You can also find out more about Louise Dear, including her life, loves and passions, right here at Victoria Plum.
We also stock 4 existing collections by Louise Dear, which you can read more about by clicking on the links below:
Shop Louise Dear
Why not browse the whole Louise Dear range? Simply click on the image below.
Check back with us on our blog on Wednesday 16th December, when I’ll show you how to “Get the Louise Dear Look” in your own home, using the right combination of colours, accessories and products.