Combining sculpture, painting and collage, Clémence Hémard-Hermitant invites her audience to view intimate scenes of lived-in spaces.
In ‘Intimacies’, windows and rooms house the remnants of past lives. The scale of the pieces encourage a close look into solitary spaces and scenes that hint at a life that may have been. Dried flowers, hanging laundry, empty chairs and set tables combine to question the idea of Presence in Absence, what stays behind and the inner power of objects, clothes and places.
‘La Veranda de Maurice’, a direct homage to her grand-father and his compulsion for hoarding, also focuses on her own tendencies to attach sentimental value to inanimate objects, instilling life into them. This ties into Clemence’s previous work on ageing, of its effects on the mind and body and the precariousness that goes with it. In her present research Clemence touches on people’s vulnerability, heightened by poverty, but also through solitude and how physical elements can be of mental comfort.
Through the use of colour and the reprocessing of old fabric Clemence talks about traces and identity. By scratching and layering the surface, details appear or disappear. Unfired clay is found in most pieces in ‘Intimacies’ as it remains in its most vulnerable state, precarious and unstable.
As a French artist, born and raised in London, "Intimacies" is also a reflection on her own mixed cultural identity in these turbulent times and this overwhelming feeling that people increasingly believe in the need to be defined into categories. This is as much an ode to her cultural heritage as it is an inquisitive insight into her own artistic idiosyncracies.