A stylist by training, Pascale Risbourg quickly abandoned fashion to become a wallpaper designer, then a ceramist. She has been exploring creation for more than twenty years and is constantly renewing herself. Today, she lives and works in Belgium. The bend a visit to his adopted country, the editorial staff of Muuuz had the opportunity to meet this artist at heart.
You come from fashion, why did you finally choose crafts?
Fashion is my first training. I was sure I was doing something artistic. I signed up for ESMOD, but soon realized that this sector was too small for me. So I moved away from it. I made very playful, spectacular clothes. After my diploma, I won several competitions but always by taking as much distance as possible from the garment. My most noticed creations are the most artistic, in particular those of the transformation of the object into clothing, or of clothing into object, like a bag convertible into a dress or a skirt which transforms into a parasol. I realized that what really interested me was above all the performance dimension of the outfit. I created costumes for events, advertisements, shoots. In each project, I like the idea of arousing emotions. When I create, I always wonder what I can bring. I prefer to provoke a reaction. I make offbeat creations, which surprise. I am unclassifiable. You can find me where you don't expect it. What is the point of doing what we have already done? It is more stimulating to find new ideas. For example, with my bag dresses, I daringly overturned fashion codes. Likewise, with my erotic Toile de Jouy. It is also thanks to this that I began to move away from clothing to head towards the creation of wallpapers, murals.
What stories are behind your creations of wallpapers and ceramics?
When I create wallpapers, I think of ceramics, and vice versa. I always attach great importance to the balance of shapes and colors. I try to bring a new look. When I went to the Toile de Jouy museum in Jouy-en-Josas in the Yvelines, I was immediately struck by the drawings and I thought of revisiting them with humor. The idea for my first wallpaper collection was born as well. I especially try to renew myself and not follow trends. When I create a new wallpaper, I do some assembly work. I envision the whole as a scenography, then I think about the choices of shapes and colors. The more I advance in the making of a mural, the more I focus on the details. When I make ceramics, it's different. I think about decoration without imposing myself on specifications. Unlike my wallpapers, I am not in the process of marketing. All my ceramics are between art and design. These are objects that are contemplated. The aesthetic aspect takes precedence over the functional.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by my environment because it awakens my senses. From gastronomy to new technologies, passing through architecture, I draw my inspiration everywhere. I constantly analyze what surrounds me, and then I try to make sense of my observations to translate them into an artistic language of my own.
“I make offbeat creations, which surprise. I am unclassifiable. "
In your ceramics, what is your creative process?
It's improvisation work. I use plaster molds. I compose with these predefined forms until I surprise myself. If I am not surprised, I rework my piece again and again to obtain a surprising creation. I want my pieces to be sincere. Right now, I'm raising my ceramics. They seem to be in balance. This relationship between mass and fragility interests me, because I find myself there.
How do you build your universe?
I am a free electron, but I carry out my projects with great rigor. I have to channel myself to find consistency. I always try to get away from what can be expected of me.
You use augmented reality to animate the patterns on your porcelain wallpapers and plates Erotic Toile de Jouy. Why do you want to integrate new technologies into the decorative arts?
It is a recipe for creativity to combine two universes that have nothing to do with it. By using augmented reality to give life to the suggestive sketches of my erotic Toiles de Joy, I surprise the public. I was also very happy to see the visitors smile when they watched my wallpapers come alive at the 2019 edition of the COLLECTIBLE in Brussels, then on the occasion of the design walk “La Promenade du Collectionneur II” organized by the Gosserez and Maison Parisienne galleries at Le Meurice in parallel with the PAD.
Since March 2019, you have been working at Ateliers Zaventem, the creative center designed by Lionel Jadot, and therefore participate in the life of the workshops. What does this residency bring to your creation?
It is very stimulating to work there. There is a creative effervescence. Last year, I had the chance to exhibit my creations at COLLECTIBLE alongside all the volunteer residents of Ateliers Zaventem. Brussels is a veritable breeding ground for talent. It is a city that suits me very well, because I can express myself with integrity without being put in a box.
What are your next projects?
I want to tell new stories. I would like to collaborate with galleries, publishers, and possibly go abroad for a residence.
Do you want to learn a new decorative art?
It wouldn't be wise [laughs]. I would rather associate my ceramic with the know-how of another craftsman. Then, I would also like to improve myself, in particular to master the techniques of enamel.
How do you imagine the design of tomorrow?
Before being an object, the design of tomorrow is a reflection. In my opinion, the design of tomorrow will be an ecological design, a design of recovery. We're starting to see new shapes, marshmallow shapes, and new materials. Theupcycling develops and seduces young creators. I think the new generation of designers is working on very interesting projects. I am very happy that the young talents, the students, the young shoots upset the codes and envision a different future. The new generation of designers has no limits, and is not afraid of criticism. The creations of young designers are not necessarily at the technical point, but at the artistic level they are. And that's the main thing. I will therefore call the design of tomorrow the marshmallow design, a super playful design on the borders of surrealism.
To learn more, visit Pascale Risbourg's website.
Photographs: Portrait © Laetizia Bazzoni, Ceramics and wallpapers © Kaatje Verschoren