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Juliette Lepage Boisdron

Jeweller
Published: 17.06.2024

News!

3 new pieces and the publication Abracadabra have been added to the artist's profile.
Juliette Lepage Boisdron Juliette Lepage Boisdron

Bio

Juliette Lepage Boisdron born in Paris and holds a Master's Degree in History of Art from Sorbonne University. Her travels around the world from her earliest childhood have left a distinct mark on her work. She grew up and lived in exotic and contrasting countries. North China, U.S.S.R, Abu Dhabi, Pondicherry, New York, Lisbon, Paris, Singapore and Basel have been her “home” at different stages of her life. Her professional career is therefore quite eclectic. She previously worked as an art gallery director in Singapore, as an artistic agent in India, and in Paris, she was working for the website of the Fondation Cartier. In Paris, Juliette studied under art professor Patrice de Pracontal who was a restorer of paintings at the Louvre Museum, in Lisbon she studied jewelry technics with artist Catarina Silva, and in Singapore, she studied traditional and contemporary Chinese painting under the guidance of Pr Lim Choon Jin. Juliette has exhibited her work globally, including Singapore, U.S., France, and Switzerland where she currently resides.

Statement

When I was a child, my father’s work meant we had to move a lot and this entailed living in many different places. In the late ’70s, I was in Manchuria (Northeast China). I stayed there for five years with my family. In that period, China was vastly different from today. Our apartment was tiny with harsh conditions. Despite the extreme cold weather, I almost always chose to spend my free time outside. At that time, I had very few toys, (only the ones I could bring in my suitcase on the plane from Paris), I was often feeling bored and wandering outside in the « garden » with a big open dump, was a way to combat the boredom. I started digging in the waste, gathering, sorting and selecting some of them (stones, bricks, pieces of wood, bones, pieces of glass, and nails..). With all these « treasures » I started to build kid-size « houses » and to create jewellery. At that time I did not see any aesthetic aspect in them, and I would not even consider them as jewellery. I was more into the idea of protection, considering them like a shield.
 
At about age 13, my parents divorced and we moved to France. My life changed completely! My mother enrolled me in the private school where she was working. The kids there were wearing brand-name clothes; I was then exposed to fashion, a world I knew nothing about. For many reasons, going back to live in France was a kind of shock for me. I felt absolutely out of place. In response, I shaved my head and hung out with the punk crowd. I wanted to show I was not part of what was happening to me at that time. I had to re-adjust and learn how to adapt to living in Europe again. And it also reinforced my need to create « strange » Jewellery. At that moment I was using clay, painting and wires. I was making jewellery with a lot of little heads. Sometimes I was also integrating plastic animal toys. Alongside my jewellery, I was also drawing on paper with Chinese ink.
 
At 18, I left home and began my studies. I wanted to study « Art » (I was not sure what exactly, Jewellery? Painting?) but unfortunately my parents would not support me. I finally studied Art History at the Sorbonne University in Paris. 
After my studies, life called me East again, and I moved to Singapore where I worked for several years in art galleries. It was then that I was exposed to, and began collecting, art and jewellery from Southeast Asia. Still, I was creating my jewellery using paper maché, painting, rope, shells, stones and pearls that I could find in second-hand shops. Because I was young and a bit unconscious, I started to exhibit my work and sell them in some places in Singapore.
 
Life continued to pull me to different parts of the globe; New York, then Pondicherry, where I worked as an artists’ agent. Then back to Paris where I worked for the Fondation Cartier’s website and on to Lisbon in Portugal at age 40. In all these places, in parallel to my “official” job, I was still, always, creating jewellery and paintings. But I was not showing them anymore, I was not even talking to my friends about it. Because I felt my creations were not serious, not professional, and ridiculous. I felt they did not properly evolve from when I was young and, as I was self-taught they were not legitimate. 
 
In Lisbon, I could finally study contemporary jewellery making with the artist Catarina Silva. It was a time of great validation for me. Suddenly I realized that what I used to make as a child, out of shells, rocks and nature, was a kind of art, and I wasn’t the only one drawn to the unusual beauty. Catarina taught me how to use metal, how to saw, file and weld. I then started to use brass, Copper and silver.
 
Today, I am a full-time multidisciplinary artist, living between Basel Switzerland, Lisbon and Paris. My practice oscillates between jewellery design and Chinese ink painting on rice paper, an echo of my 15 years spent in Asia. In my paintings, I often represent women with big necklaces, or protecting shields. My jewellery and my paintings are complementary and respond to each other. 
 
For a few years, I have started to show and wear my jewellery. 
My creations speak about love, human relationships, the place of women in society, motherhood, vulnerability and power. I question the functioning of society, its codes and the role that women play in it. I evoke maternity, family and transgenerational relationships. I address themes such as relationships between man and nature, climate change and the problem of future generations who will have to grow up in this highly fragile and complex environment. 
 
When I was a kid, I was creating objects because I was feeling bored. Now that I am an adult, I carry on because it has become a must. It is for me a way to communicate and express myself better than I can do with words. It also allows me to get out of this world to enter another one, a world that I have created myself, according to my needs and my criteria, a friendlier one, where I feel protected. 

 

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Book:  Abracadabra by Juliette Lepage Boisdron. Lepage Boisdron, JulietteSnap Collective:  2023