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13/09/2021

The luminous reflections of Émilie Lemardeley

Whether he passes through a “reflection” on light, and his taste for glass as a material of choice, or by his attraction to the challenges of technical balance, leading him to collaborate for his pieces with many craftsmen. , the work of designer Émilie Lemardeley questions both the mastery of form and the nuance of colors.

Zeus , Helios , Dionysus , Narcissus , the pieces by designer Émilie Lemardeley, whether furniture (sofa, armchair, bench), mirrors or even lighting (on foot, wall or suspension), take their name from an attraction to Greek mythology inducing its gaze as much on form as on the world. “ I love Greek mythology for having studied it for a long time ” , she advances . It opened me up to another world, which is not the rational world we live in today. Through her plays, Émilie Lemardeley seeks above all to open the door to her world. A world turned on the singular, the curve and the intuition, which seems to fit well with his atypical career, having seen him go from Sciences-Po to the Ecole du Louvre, move from the Sotheby’s School in London to the Furniture department of the 20th century of Christie’s, before she completed her training at Ensaama Olivier de Serres, then opened her own studio in 2012.

Parques ribon lighting fixture

The key to his creations lies for a lot in his great search for balance and precision. “The ribbon chandelier challenge Fates was to find a good balance of points of suspension so that the ribbon develops with the desired shape, without multiplying the points of attachment ”, she admits thus.

“Ditto for the chandeliers Dionysus . We can decline the shapes to infinity as long as we pay attention to the weight of the glassware and the length of the metal “branches”. “

Dionysos lighting fixture
Dionysos lighting fixture

His choice of materials is also essential, and his work reveals in particular his taste for glass, which can be found in his mirrors and lights. “I use glass because it is a vector and receiver of light, which is the basis of my work. The philosophical dimension of light allows me to open up on ʺreflexionʺ, which is at the same time the reverberation of light waves on a surface, the reflection, but also the brain activity. Glass, which allows you to play with “light reflections”, is therefore my favorite material. In fact, Émilie Lemardeley always begins by detailing the light of the place when she creates light installations. “This allows me to know if the glass will be better transparent or opalescent, colored or white sandblasted. Glass is a captivating material that can be worked in different ways (blown, cast, molded, cut). It almost becomes living matter when you add light to it. “

In addition to light, his glass work also gives pride of place to color. She thus discloses her attraction to the “heat” that an object must give off. “In my opinion, a minimalist interior, too sleek in color, lacks breath,” she emphasizes. “Colors have to mingle and respond to each other, objects call and challenge each other to give meaning, to give heart to the space. An object is not only a function, it is a small receptacle of the soul. “

French know-how and large-scale tailor-made projects

To perfect the shapes of her creations, Émilie Lemardeley likes to work with artisans, glassblowers and artistic ironworkers. This was particularly the case for one of his most recent creations, the large sofa. Zeus .

Zeus Sofa

“The large sofa Zeus is a bird’s wing that required a lot of prototypes and attention to detail between the different layers of foam in order to combine design and seating comfort, ”she explains.

“There are technical challenges in each object and to succeed, I must be able to be close to the workshops. That’s why everything is made in France. French artisans have very accomplished know-how and mastery of their art. “

For most of her work containing metal, she has worked with the same workshop for nine years. The latter helped him a lot for the realization of his sculpture Bow , created for the new Panorama district in the town of Clamart. “It was a real challenge in terms of its size (eight meters long by six meters high) and its weight, six tons,” she says. “In addition, I wanted the piece to be suspended over a basin of water. So I surrounded myself with a technical design office for the realization. The 1,500 parts were drawn to the millimeter before being assembled on a giant die. “

Artistic installation for ZAC du Panorama, Clamart (92)
Artistic installation for ZAC du Panorama, Clamart (92)

Represented in France by the Avant-Scène gallery, and by the Gardeshop galleries in Los Angeles and Cuturi Galerie in Singapore, Émilie Lemardeley designs and produces many pieces for abroad, in particular for decorators and architects. Interior decorators and architects who are usually her first clients, coming to see her to create a unique object for their project. “You can also start from an object from my collections that they liked to adapt it to their project. But it is always a unique creation, adapted for the place where it takes place, ”she explains.

“I work with around forty colors of glass, and within these colors, we can also play with density and therefore create shades again to create shades. Likewise for metal, I like to play with patinas or gold leaves, of which there are about twenty different shades. This vast palette allows me to create tailor-made lighting installations for large spaces, such as dining rooms, hotel lobbies, stairwells. My last realization for the Eiffage Immobilier group dressed a building hall and reached eight meters in height. “

Eiffage Immobilier, hall d'entrée de la résidence Dédicace dans le 14e arrondissement de Paris - Lustre Dionysos en verre soufflé

Laurent Catala