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Lola Dupre Interview

Written by Jessica Trippe   
Monday, 03 January 2011 11:13
No computer used in the making of her collage; pure scissors, glue and a lot of patience. Intense work from this Glasgow based artist. We love it, and Jessica emailed her a few questions to get some insight into this talent whose works takes on avergage 25 hours to produce... She's also available for commissions. Wink wink.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, Age? Location? Hometown?

Name: Lola Dupre, Age : 28, Location, between several locations in Scotland, my main studio is in Glasgow and I also work and live in two remote studios in the far north of the country. I consider Glasgow my home town, but I was born in Algeria. And spent my childhood in Paris France and London England.

Have you always created collage-based works? What was your early work like?

I have always created collage, since I was 9 or 10. But I spent most of my teenage years experimenting with papier-mache and this was my real initiation into photomontage. With papier-mache I made 3D forms, the surface of which was composed of many pieces of paper stuck down upon paper. I was always very interested in this accidental photomontage and it led me to my first experiments towards the photomontage style that I do today.

I’m so curious about your process - it looks like you must use multiple prints of the same image. Can you tell us about your process, how long it takes?

Indeed, I use multiple prints of the same image, printed on (typically) A4 and A3 paper. And I also generally print a few different crops of the same image, so that when they are combined in one piece you have several sizes which can be manipulated together. The process itself of mapping out, and sticking down each individual piece does take a long time, I guess my average working time would be between 20 and 30 hours per image.

Using the right glue, brushes and scissors you can get pretty quick, and with a bit of practice you dont smudge any glue. If you think of some of Jean-Paul Goude's work with Grace Jones, this is what I do, just with more pieces.

Do you ever manipulate images digitally and then create by hand?

No I never do this, though I think to combine the two could be very interesting. I have no real desire to pursue digital manipulation as I prefer the tangible results of traditional media, as far as digital photo manipulation goes however it is very exciting, the future of collage, and already the terms photomontage and photo manipulation are most often interpreted as meaning digital art.

Where/how to you source your images? Do get an idea and then look for a specific image to fit it, or do you find an image that then inspires the idea?

Most often I source my images through google image searches, and sometimes I photograph book pages or people I know. Generally I look for a very specific image, and then make a series of small compramises until I am happy with what I have found. This is an interesting journey through colour, composition and subject and sometimes I end up beginning work on a completely different image than the one I was looking for.

What is best/worst thing you’ve ever found when looking for images?

Hmm, hard to say, I think the worst I found was when I was looking for images of feet to illustrate a commission. There are many hideous disseases of the feet I was not aware of!... And I suppose the best is when you find a really great image with a creative commons liscence, because even though I love to work with old paintings and photographs where the copyright is expired, in order for me to work on something new I have to find something where there is permission to use and modify.

I see that you collaborate with photographers, what’s that like?

It's very interesting, it means that a photographer conceives an idea for me to abstract. It is one of the main things I pursue and gives me the opportunity to produce editorial for publication. Seeing that I always begin work with an existing image, it is ideal to start a project with images that have been made specifically for me. Also just in terms of publishing material it is a great help to work with a talented photographer, as this is the more acceptable and realistic way to approach illustration and editorial projects.

Do you feel like there are advantages/disadvantages of working from existing images?

As a photomontage artist, everything I create is a regurgitation of something I have found. Occassionally I combine two images in one collage, and though I want to do more of this in the future, most often I am working with one image. The most obvious advantages for me are that you can literally browse for the colour scheme and composition of the piece you wish to make. And you can almost immediately source images of anything from any location through the internet. The disadvantages are that there any many images you can imagine that you can never find. Often there is something wrong with an image, something missing or just simply that the resolution is not high enough.

What is your dream project? If you could illustrate any book/article/story/idea etc.?

I would love to illustrate a classic childrens book, Alice, Little red riding hood, etc, from a series of photographs which I could commission a photographer to produce for me. Something like that would be my dream project. I am trying to expand the range of projects I am capable of doing, so my dream projects are many, and frequently change.

I see a dose of humor in your work, what would you like a viewer to walk away with from your work?

I think as an artist all you can do is start a dialogue amongst your viewers, for example I am just about to start a portrait of Julian Assange, in my work I do not intend to say something is good or bad, just to raise a discussion about something I think should be discussed. This is why I work sometimes with contemporary political images. But indeed with a lot of my work, I find humour and horror to be the most attractive things to people. A new viewpoint of an established norm is my motivation.

What is the art scene like in Scotland?

Well, for Glasgow in particular, I think there is a great art scene, there are many successfull artists working here and many influential studios. The down side is that this is a often a violent and poor city and in terms of opportunities, galleries and representation many people move away to London or mainland Europe in search of better opportunities. I suppose this city nurtures artistic talent well with cheap studio rents and a welcoming close-knit creative community, many are successfull here and find no need to move away, but some do. There is a vibrant calender of events, and the art,music,performance, party scenes exist and influnce each other side by side.

Anything good we should know about? Upcoming shows? Any music you’re excited about?

I have quite a few things coming up in the new year, I am making a group of eight equestrian portraits for a group show in Glasgow, and I am looking forward to an exciting upcoming project with the wonderful photographer Rai Royal. I also have several book and magazine / collaborative projects under discussion but I would rather not mention details as there are many unconfirmed details at the moment. I will post any news on my website though, so just keep an eye on that if anyone is interested.

My studio partner of many years ago, "the Niallist" has many upcoming music projects I am excited about and perhaps I will even provide some image material for something. Also a friend of mine in the "Orkestra del Sol" is producing some great material, I should also be illustrating for them shortly.

And lastly, if someone wants to buy a piece or commission you for work, how can they get in touch with you?

Check my site, loladupre.com for available work, or send me an email to lola[at]loladupre.com. I enjoy producing commissions and I believe my work is for the moment a right bargain! So just send an email with any questions and help me feed my terrible paper addiction.

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