Artists under Lockdown / Marlène Huissoud
An experimental designer temporarily anchored in Paris.
The Design Edit (TDE): How are you keeping busy in self-isolation?
Marlène Huissoud (MH): My plan before lockdown was to buy this amazing farm close to Fontainebleau, an hour from Paris. When the lockdown arrived I had to cancel the purchase as it was too risky – all of my contracts were cancelled or postponed. Recently, work is coming back and projects that were supposed to be cancelled are now rescheduled – so there is still a bit of hope regarding the future of my studio. I’m taking a huge risk today by deciding to go ahead with the farm, a project I’ve believed in since I was a kid. Today, more than ever, I can’t see myself living anywhere far from nature. It is very exciting and I’m really looking forward to embracing this new way of life!
TDE: Everyone’s pace of life has slowed down considerably; what is the impact of this new rhythm on your work and home life?
MH: During the last few years, I’ve been feeling that it was time to slow down. So now I can take this time of self-isolation as an opportunity to digest everything that has happened recently. We are at a crucial point of change, and creatives should look to enjoy this time of introspection. In the first few weeks of lockdown I noticed that many of my dearest creative friends didn’t have the energy, or motivation, to work. And that’s very OK, there is no rush for anything – especially now. It’s time to take a deep breath and think about the future in a more meaningful way in terms of people, the planet and other species.
TDE: Do you have a favourite self-isolation recipe to share with us?
MH: Each week I prepare a bit of food to help an association which is distributing it to homeless people in Paris. It is a small little thing, but I find it very hard to be locked down and not being able to help more during this strange time. My first educational training was as a nurse, so I think there is a huge part of me which doesn’t like to wait for things to change or happen. Regarding a recipe – I would recommend people try Green Tea tiramisu.
TDE: What is saving your sanity under lockdown?
MH: Writing, drawing, listening to music, dancing, reading and organising the future. Like most people I have reconnected with cooking. I was really not much of a chef before the lockdown, but I can see huge improvements in my experimental kitchen. I’m a very social person, so I stay in close touch with my family and friends all over the world. It is interesting and alarming to see how different countries have reacted to the COVID-19.
TDE: Which online exhibition/gallery viewing room, or other internet offerings have caught your eye?
MH: Glenn Adamson has started a very interesting series of lectures with Friedman Benda, called ‘Design in Dialogue’. I’m also happy to have launched the exhibition ‘Walden’ with Alice Stori Liechtenstein on 4th May, discussing my recent collaboration with CC TAPIS.