Delphine Lejeune – Visual designer and material reseacher
UNFAIR2022 will take place in the Westergas, Amsterdam. Forty upcoming and renowned artists present their work 15-17 July. As a proud sponsor of UNFAIR2022 we ask several artists of UNFAIR2022 about their work and what drives them. This time we spoke to Delphine Lejeune.
This year, Walloon artist Delphine Lejeune will be present at UNFAIR for the first time. Last year, she graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven and since then her work has been shown in several exhibitions in major European cities. With her collection of natural-looking shapes and objects that come straight from a 3D printer, she investigates the relationship between man and nature.
How could your work be best described?
“I’m a visual design and materials researcher. I work experimentally across 2D and 3D printed surfaces, using digital images as raw material with which I then play between digital and physical representations.”
“My art comes from 3D printing as my medium of exploration and production. Being able to trick the boundaries of the machine allows me to explore new visual representations and to create my own visual language. In addition, 3D printing is a quite exciting open-source technique that keeps evolving every day, creating new possibilities for the exploration of materials and self-production.”
What is it you’re trying to discover through your work?
“ I use my work to try to better understand our current relationship with our surroundings. By linking it to traditions of the past, behaviours and old knowledge, I aim to generate new visual representations and to question the relation between digital and physical realities.”
You seem to use a lot of natural forms and shapes. What is your connection to nature?
“ I originally come from a wild natural landscape in Belgium, so nature has always been part of my life. I grew up being aware of nature’s cycle, the seasons and transformation over time. I now feel the need to use this natural context as the root, but within a digital landscape.”
Your website reads: “Designed objects critically shape our social behaviors”. Can you elaborate on this thought?
“Through my work, I rethink our relation with nature within our digital context. By creating new tactile representations of it I question our current behaviour towards our natural surroundings. With ‘Blossoming Garden’, for example, I dived into our relationship with the physical world by using digital tools. The project explores how the identity of man could lie hidden in nature, becoming a tool for self-reflection.”
You’ll be at UNFAIR this summer. How did that come about?
“This summer will be my first time at UNFAIR, and also the first real opportunity for me to present my work in the city. In the art scene, UNFAIR is well known for showing emerging artists. A lot of my friends have had the opportunity to exhibit there already, and I know the impact it can generate for a fresh artistic career. I feel grateful for being invited for this upcoming edition and I’m excited to present my new work!”
What will you be showing?
“At UNFAIR, I will be presenting a new project named ‘Synthetic Nature Through my Screen’, a series of screen dividers depicting digital nature. This project is based on two points of research: one being the relation between women and domestic crafts, and I’m also reinterpreting the traditional representation of nature depicted in this traditional piece of furniture from the 18th century, and developing the notion of synthetic nature. With this project, I also aim to give my work a more sculptural and ‘spacial’ presentation.”
When did your work start to pick up? Was there a magic moment?
“I graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven last year. During my graduation, I focused on finding my own methodology and the right tools to develop my practice. The magic happened during that period, when my material explorations and visual research brought me where I am now. By sharing my research process online, I also started receiving invitations to exhibit my work in different places such as Kunsthal Gent, Gr_und in Berlin and the Lithuanian National Museum of Art in Vilnius.”
What’s your proudest moment regarding your work?
“Creating new connections through my work is important for my practice. Collaborations and exchanges with writers, crafters and other designers are something that I want to keep developing through my art. Last year, I got contacted to be part of a self-initiated residency in the German countryside. This encounter was actually the starting point of our female designer collective called Many-to-Many. As a collective, we aim to explore new approaches for interdisciplinary exchange and a symbiotic design process. Our approach is to create space for female realities and to facilitate moments of collective dreaming that broaden our imagination and will lead us into alternative futures.”
UNFAIR is van 15 t/m 17 juli 2022 in de Gashouder Amsterdam.