Delphine Perrot: Art Installations + Design

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| March 17, 2010

Born in Marseille, and trained at the public Art schools of Paris, Delphine Perrot is a Graphic Designer specializing in print and creative realisations. She has produced an array of artistic installations for the likes of Design Week, The Affluenza Exhibition, and The New Economics Foundation’s ‘Bigger Picture’ Festival of Interdependence. With her experience in producing work for arts, cultural and educational output, Delphine is currently working in London for the multi-award winning Studio Myerscough. Notes on Design caught up with Delphine to find out all about her practice and motivations. (Also check out Delphine’s NoD Creative Countdown.)

Notes On Design: Can you give us an insight into your background?

Delphine: I successfully completed a BA and MA in Graphic Design in my native France. My studies were a very important phase for me, where I explored the freedom of self-initiated projects. I was taught by inspiring teachers, especially my MA tutor David Poullard who really gave me the confidence to push my personal work.

Since my MA final project, which took inspiration from the Parisian flea markets, I have researched and catalogued an extensive collection of advertising slogans, in French and English, that I feel encompass the 20th century. These form a strong thread that can be found, at least in part, in many of my installations and artwork.

Notes On Design: Can you tell us about your self initiated work?

Delphine: I just love being a designer. It gives me the opportunity to work on a wide range of engaging and interactive projects that touch audiences. Outside of my day job though, it’s vital I submerge myself in creating my own self-initiated art and design work – it keeps me curious and offers a creative balance.

My approach to my personal works is to emulate commonplace advertising words/slogans, through historical and typographic contrasts, and the clever addition of discrete commercial messages in various, and unexpected situations. For me, it is not about selling anymore, but about surprising, entertaining and opening up new possibilities and performances. It is a question of explaining these slogans in other contexts in order to draw our attention to them, and to challenge and change their meanings. Within my work, these messages manifest themselves in diverse places, in wild and unexpected displays, and across a myriad of media.

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The Affluenza Exhibition, London, 2009.

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Video installation: At Nottingham’s Surface Gallery, 2009.

Notes on Design: What would you say was your creative break?

Delphine: It was a fantastic opportunity to be a part of ‘Nothing Works’, a 2008 group show for Design Week, curated by Amanprit Sandhu and artist Michael Czerwinski (Design Museum). Open in September 2008, the show coincided and formed part of the London Design Festival and the London Open House weekend.

The show brought together 20 visual and cross-disciplinary artists and designers, to produce a series of installations in the basement of Shoreditch Town Hall, London. The collective aimed to provide a space and platform for cross-disciplinary artists and designers to respond to site-specific briefs, produce new work, and in turn create dialogue with others – all with an intent to promote and showcase the multiple media in which artists and designers were working.

Set in the labyrinthine basement rooms of the grade 2 listed building, the show examined our preoccupations and romance with provocative disused architectural space. Exhibitors were asked to respond directly to the spaces and the history of Shoreditch Town Hall in order to produce installations that involved visual art, design, sound and performance.

For me personally this was a fantastic platform to showcase my ideas, and being part of the same exhibition as Margaret Calvert felt quiet special too!

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Nothing Works, Design Week, 2008.

Notes on Design: Can you tell us a little about your work and role at StudioMyerscough?

Delphine: Working at StudioMyerscough has been fantastic, offering me a broad spectrum of exciting and challenging projects to work on. So far I have had the opportunity to work with architects and other specialists on a brand identity for an educational institution, designs for major international exhibitions, and popular music and cultural festivals.

Notes on Design: Do you have any self-led projects you’d like to tell us about?

Delphine: I am interested in the use of projections and temporary light installations in interesting spaces – an approach I would like to take to different cities in the future. I am also keen to further develop my catalogue of advertising inspired slogans, and am working on a limited edition publication to showcase these. I am also working on my website, which is something I am excited to have, to really document all my activities and ideas.

Delphine Perrot, Sketchbook.

Notes on Design: So, what was 2009 like for you, and what does 2010 hold?

Delphine: I had a great year in 2009, I was involved in many interactive events and I received hugely supportive feedback from the public, other artists and critics alike. This year, I began working 4 days a week with Studio Myerscough, so I could dedicate more time for my personal projects. So, for 2010, I would literally say ‘watch this space!’

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