” Once upon a time, there was an artist-photographer who dreamed of bringing her photographs to life “
Yseult D is a photographer, not a stylist. She insists on the fact that silk is only suitable for a few of her shots.
In art photography, a work of art cannot exceed 30 prints. She applies the same principle to Art to Wear, so she has chosen to limit herself to 12 silk creations per photo.
With this number, the original photo becomes «Collector» and only 18 additional exclusive silk creations can be produced on demand. Each photograph is signed and provided with a certificate of authenticity.
The silk adventure started with 5 scarves, in the artist’s house in Tervuren., a small village nearby Brussels. Yseult D. decided to go further. Silk satin, with its noble, resistant, and thermotactic touch, is an ideal material to wear next to the skin. She launches the first series of bi-material tops: at the front, there is the photograph printed on silk whereas back is made in plain jersey cotton. Easy to wear, these tops surprise by their originality.
Hello Yseult! You say a photograph only gets alive when printed on the right medium. How did you choose your medium? And why is the silk perfect medium for you?
Yseult: Indeed, when I prepare an exhibition, I spend hours thinking about the most appropriate medium for each photo. I touch the different papers; I think about whether to frame them. I have the chance to work with a high-quality lab. In my artistic approach, it is true that the whole forms a whole. For some photographs, I choose silk. After many tests on different textile supports, silk satin proved to give the best result for my photographs.
Could you walk us through your process?
Yseult: I like to take my time. My life is a journey and I photograph regularly. I have 3 favorite themes: landscapes off the beaten track, contemporary architecture, and street art when I approach cities. I work with digital equipment but as if it were filmed. Furthermore, I save as much as I can of my shots and I only look at them when I return several weeks later.
What motivates you as an artist? Is it curiosity, the search for beauty, or meaning?
Yseult: It is in simplicity that beauty is found. I try to capture a moment that I consider “right” at a given moment. The light is essential, it is the light that guides me and decides whether to take a picture or not. The search for beauty makes sense to me, but beauty is subjective. It is up to each one to reveal his own.
What are you currently working on?
Yseult: Passionate about images, I am constantly seeking to train myself and awaken my curiosity. Now I am working as an assistant cameraman for the realization of a short film. This is a brand-new experience for me and a way of working at the opposite of my photography. In fact, in cinema it is not a question of waiting for the right light, it is necessary to create it!
How has your art evolved over the years?
Yseult: I try to purify my work as much as possible, and I think this is felt over the years. As for my work on silk, it has evolved enormously. I started this adventure on silk 6 years ago with 5 scarves, not really knowing where it would lead me. Then I made tops, dresses, bat models and lately a series of long dresses of which I am very proud. The Masterpiece as I call it is the culmination of my photographic reflection on silk. This work, entirely made of silk, is composed of a single 360° photograph.
What is the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?
Yseult: Regarding my silk works to wear the most difficult part was to find the right patterns. In this sense, I worked with a stylist who perfectly understood my artistic approach and the fact of not distorting my photography. Just like for my photographs on the wall, I looked for a high-quality lab. I found this lab in Spain and work with the best printers and the most beautiful fabrics. As an artist, quality is very important to me. Just like my photographs on the wall, my silk photographs are limited and come with a certificate of authenticity.
What artists have influenced your work the most?
Yseult: I was very much influenced by the Pictorialism movement. The Pictorialism movement lasted for two decades, from about 1890 to 1910. Its name comes from the English expression pictorial photography in which pictorial is a derivative of the word picture which can mean “painting», but its correct meaning is “image”. Pictorialism is therefore a creative photography that wants to recognize the pre-eminence of the image over the photographed reality. As a Belgian artist, surrealism also has an important part in the influence of my work.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Yseult: It is a very simple answer that touched me a lot.
One day, a little girl of about 7 or 8 years old accompanied her mother to see my work at the gallery. The mother made many fittings of my works on silk. When she was about to leave the little girl asked me “When I grow up, will you still be there because I too would like to wear one of your dresses”.
I was very moved because to make a little girl dream is for me the most beautiful compliment.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Yseult: It is a difficult question because I think art is a form of “coup de coeur”. It is an encounter that you must know how to grasp. I like to quote Paul Éluard “There is no chance, there are only meetings”. I hope that your interview will make some people want to know a little more about me…
Are there any upcoming shows or workshops we should know about?
Yseult: Yes, I am preparing a group exhibition here in Brussels. I had the chance to be selected by Act Exhibition with 25 artists who expressed their creativity during the confinement. This exhibition will take place from March 18 to April 4 in a street near the Grand Place in Brussels.
What’s next for Yseult?
Yseult: My main ambition is to travel normally, and I look forward to coming to New York to present my work as soon as possible!
Also In my opinion all women are a piece of art, I am currently working on a new campaign: “Every size is beautiful”.