Interview: Emma Coffin
Luca Curci talks with Emma Coffin during THE EXTENDED BODY 2020 at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.
Born in Arras, France, in 1971, Emma became passionate about drawing at a very young age. She learns to draw from Comic books and then from reproducing what is around her, feeling particularly inspired by the colours found in nature and landscapes. She starts to draw comics boards, first in collaboration and then on her own, still highly influenced by comic books. In paintings, she is very impressed by the works of the Impressionists on colour and light, particularly in Monet and Turner’s works. Admiring Japan, the work of Hokusai and Hiroshige fascinates her. Art is felt in the heart, it must touch you, it is something one feels. In 1994, she takes up a course on comics drawing in the Beaux Arts and Figurative Arts Academy in Tournai (Belgium) which will not meet her expectations. Emma will then continue to study drawing through various projects – comics, scenarios and illustrations, using various techniques: China ink, colour ink, wash drawing, watercolour, pencil, paint. In 1996, she moved on to Paris and met a few years later John Bolton who looks carefully at her portfolio and strongly advises her to move on to painting. This is exactly what she will do a few years later, giving up her job to dedicate herself fully to art. As her interest in colour and light grows, Emma starts working with acrylic paint. Landscapes first as she loves nature, then she moves on to abstract painting to fully embrace colours. She gives a certain energetic quality to her paintings, bringing in joy, happiness, energy flow, playing with texture and colours. Every new painting is an adventure full of promises.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Emma Coffin – I draw since my younger age, I’m fascinated by colours and light. I started by drawing from comics then from Nature. For a long time, I created comics from the story to the colours, I was mainly influenced by Terry Moore, Alan Davis, John Byrne, John Bolton, Jim Lee, Bill Sienkiewicz, Al Williamson and David Mack, attracted by the balance between colours and pencil, (except for Terry Moore black and white). The epiphany was an Impressionists Exhibition in Paris in 1984, as soon as I visite it, I knew one day I’ll paint, searching for colours and light. Monet and Turner are my favourite painters, but I never get tired to exploring other painters and I’m very eclectic in my tastes.
LC – What is art for you?
EC – Art is a big word, it expresses what the best of the human being. It has a lot to express from the social issues to the beauty of nature or mankind. Art is a reflection of what you feel inside. It is rich, diverse as many as artists exploring it. Art is creation.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
EC – I find inspiration in nature, for example the colours of a sunset. The colours in its purest form. Comics, paintings, cinema, music, all form of Arts. Meditation, Yoga, dreams. The sleeve of the Santana record Europa, Colourful art of the 70’s.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
EC – I experiment a lot, I try to find the perfect balance between Colours, Space and matter through gesture. Sometimes it doesn’t work well, so I try to find what is the best adding colours, mixing them.
LC – What are you currently working on?
EC – I work on Abstract Art, I try to fill the space with colours interacting them. At the same time, I go on painting landscape to improve my technic and experiment knifepainting.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
EC – On Abstract Art, I often explore Space or underwater, and also the inner Energy projected.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in the society? And the contemporary art?
EC – The artist is the reflect of a part and an aspect of society. The artists play different roles depending on their creation, some are engaged for a cause and symbolize Ideas. The Artist try to bring different kind of thinking, he tries to enlight the others. As far as I am concerned, I try to bring joy, happiness, peace of mind , strenght, energy, I try to bring light. Contemporary Art is to explore new grounds, a kind of pioneer, to make people thinking differently on their condition and place in life, universe. Contemporary Art is to experiment new technics, new things, new way of creating, almost alive.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
EC – It allows artists to take part in the Exhibition. It is really centered in Art and it is really challenging. It brings more thinking on the purpose of Art.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
EC – I hope so. It’s sure to have that kind of exhibition in my resume is gratifying ; but I do hope I will sell some of my canvas. I’d like to know the real impact of it.