Instagram: @petronella.art Website: www.lekadre.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I'm from Falsterbo, a small town at the absolute South-West end of Sweden. Growing up with two creative parents, I have been creating a wide range of artworks for as long as I can remember. Now that I have moved abroad I love coming back to the beautiful nature, but while growing up all I did was imagining all the places I would go to and the new people I would meet. I think this initial passion to explore made me ambitious, a doer and explorer from the start - both in real life and in my artistic expression. I realized that it was up to me to create my own opportunities and story. Only a few weeks after graduating high-school I moved to deep rural South Africa to work for an HIV-preventive NGO for a year. To keep it short, the experience changed my life and made me see that one of my biggest privileges is choice: To be able to choose where to go next and what to do with my life. Since a young age, I always dreamt of living in Paris and do art every day, so that is where I chose to go next and where I have been since 2 years.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.I create from the life around me, which can take various shapes and colors. Lately, I have been focused on more graphic contours with black thread on white tissue, with some color-elements spread out on the piece to make it more lively such as a blue door, green leaves or colorful flowers in the balconies.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?My favourite medium for a couple of years is embroidery. With thread and a needle, I can bring my drawings and paintings to life with varying tangible textures. It's amazing to both feel and see what you are creating at the same time.
4. What is your artistic process like?Since I moved to Paris, my art starts in the streets. Every day I walk around the city with my partner Charles Henry (who is also an amazing artist @_charleshenry_) and take photographs, talk and observe. Once back in the studio I use the different inputs and images to create my designs and drawings that I later transfer to fabric to be embroidered. I usually have an idea of what techniques and colors I will use for the overall piece, but like to keep the details open as I go.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?Lately, I am particularly inspired by the stunning architecture here in Paris. Thanks to my Parisian partner in crime Charles, I have been able to explore the beauty of Paris both in and out from a native's perspective. Our constant exchange of ideas and encouragement also inspires and motivates me to constantly improve and expand my creativity.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?For me, art is a way of life. It makes you more aware of both yourself and others around you, and you are able to observe life, events and structures from a more objective viewpoint. Living with another artist, it is as if this exploration of beauty is a never-ending process that enriches life immensely.
7. Where did you study?I am currently finishing my last year at The American University of Paris, where I study Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Many people are surprised to hear that I don't do a Fine Arts major, but for me, it is key to have knowledge and insight into many areas to get a greater perspective and understanding of how the world works. Reflecting on my experience in South Africa, I have always had a passion for development and to help others. Thus by studying PPE, I aim to get a more solid ground for how to be able to contribute to the world with the incorporation of my artistic practices.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?In five years I hope Charles and I have established our artistry enough to be able to travel with our art for exhibitions and workshops around the world.
9. What about in ten?In ten years I hope we have established ourselves with a strong base and spacious studio in one location, but still with possibilities for continuous exploration and travels.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I hope to create a living from my art and that I have found ways to incorporate helping others with art-creation.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?Hmm... I think pan-fried fillet of plaice, potatoes and remoulade sauce is still a winner!
12. Favourite book?This is always a difficult question to answer as it constantly changes. For many years I loved "Tuck Everlasting" by Nathalie Babbit, as it shows that eternal life isn't as desirable as people may think. Recently I have really enjoyed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, where her book "Americana" is very fascinating and raw.
13. Favourite genre of music?I tend to shift music style depending on my mood, but mostly I listen to RnB, Pop and Soft Rock.
14. What are your hobbies?Apart from creating things in general (not only embroidery), but I also love to read and do sport. I used to run and play tennis a lot, but since I moved to Paris I mostly walk all over the city. Unfortunately, I don't take the time to read as much as I wish, but once I am finished with University I have a pile of books waiting for me.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?I would be a writer (both fiction and journalism) and a development worker or both! I still hope to incorporate development work and writing more into my artistic practice - only time can tell!