A drawing… a line! Meeting with Lea Belooussovitch
It is another reality, a blurred play, of loose forms in chromatic purity, bringing out the essential beauty of a world caught up in the horror of the insane. This promise of a diluted torpor in the way we look at things, Lea Belooussovitch translates it with his drawing. The felt becomes a veil on the original fact and the colours become glimmers of hope in which we cling to. By questioning the way in which current photographs are received, Léa Belooussovitch places us within the limits of perception
Marlene Pegliasco: Could you talk about your background?
Lea Belooussovitch: I was born in Paris, I have now been living in Brussels for 10 years. In France, I have been taking drawing courses since I was 6 years old, and after the baccalaureate, I did two preparatory years in art schools in Paris. In the continuity, I integrated the school of La Cambre in Brussels, in option Drawing, where I obtained my Master. After graduation, I did artist residencies, especially at the Moonens Foundation, at the Fondation du Carrefour des Arts, and at the MAAC in Brussels, while starting to exhibit in parallel, in France, Belgium and abroad, and I have won several awards that have set me on the right track for the start of my career.
Marlène Pegliasco: Brightly coloured halos for bellicose subjects: are you looking to appease the horror of today’s world?
Lea Belooussovitch…: The colors that appear in my drawings are from the original photos on which I base myself. They sometimes seem joyful and lively, but my goal is not to make a beautiful image: a bright yellow will be drawn from a fire, mint green from a garment, electric blue from a background… There is a slippage between the colours of the photo which are of the order of the digital and the pixel; and the pigments of the colour pencils, which are plastic, but the idea is always to respect these original colours, because it is through them that the eye can imagine a body, an action, etc… It is not a appeasement that would amount to saying “it is not so serious”, but rather a step aside, a veil placed on images of extreme human vulnerability, by preserving the memory of the event (by the title in particular) but by removing voyeurism.
Marlène Pegliasco: Why did you choose this felt technique?
Lea Belooussovitch The drawings are made with coloured pencils directly applied to textile felt. Felt, a non-woven fibre material, is insulating, protective, sound-absorbing, soft and pleasant to the touch, and ultra-resistant. I choose it both for its technical characteristics and for its sensitive properties and the meaning it can produce in combination with drawing work. Technically, since the fibres are extremely accumulated, a plastic reaction occurs with the pencil, which is very dry: they take off and start to lint. Under the repeated passages of pencils, the fibers come out in volume and come towards the eye. The colours mix very fluidly thanks to the fibres, the colour “sinks” into the textile. These plastic reactions come to the encounter of the subject, which consists in reframing an image in which an action of the order of pain, coming from the press or the web, is staged. The victims’ faces are blurred and anonymous, both by the “mental” drawing work (starting from a sharp image and moving towards blurred vision), and by the technique where the pencil line is never sharp, the medium diffusing it into the material.
Marlène Pegliasco: What does the drawing mean to you?
Lea Belousovich I consider drawing as a way to translate a thought, it is an approach that I choose because it will produce meaning, more than another technique, with the idea that I want to convey. Especially in relation to photography, drawing is not in the same temporality, and that is also what is at the heart of the pieces I make.
Marlène Pegliasco: What is the place of this medium in your creation?
Lea Belooussovitch… I use drawing in several series of works, it is an important part of my work. Drawing allows me to give a shape, a feeling and a sensitivity to a source (image, database, text…) that does not have one. For example, I made a piece, Necrologe (Belgium), where information from the Belgian police website is written in Chinese ink on white mops, in the form of a growing pile. Drawing is also the basis of any plastic work I plan to do, for volume parts, videos, installations or exhibition concepts, everything starts with a drawing on an A4.
If you were a drawing: one of my ballpoint pen drawings from the Executed Offenders series: Jonathan (2015)
Your favorite technique: my technique of drawing with a coloured pencil on a felt pen, and also ballpoint pen drawing
The most unusual support: mops
“Drawing is like” thinking
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