Friday, 15 May 2009

My Town - Lila Loupias

jotta was introduced to Parisian art student Lila Loupias' beautiful blog, A Drawing A Day Keeps The Sheep Away, after a chance meeting in Hyeres. Updated religiously with quirky illustrations, fashion shots and musings on life, we were instantly converted. Here, she paints a picture of her very own city of love. Where do you live?

Paris, right on the banks of the Canal St Martin, which is a cool & lively place, crowded with young creatives. It is North East of Paris. Recently a whole family of ducks (and twenty of their babies) arrived on the canal, and the kids are hysterical about them, especially on Sundays...

Where do you work?
I am a student at L'ENSAD (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs) in Paris. I'm only a first year there, and I wish to be in the Animation department next year.

How do you get around?
Bike only. Biking is my strength. I find Parisian public transportation atmosphere so depressing, it makes me feel grumpy and aggressive towards everyone, so, two years ago, at the end of an exhausting grey day, gazing at everybody's grey face in the subway, I decided to give up on it. And now I have muscled legs (haha) and I know Paris really well!

Your favourite gallery?
Well, I used to live in Le Marais for a long time, where almost all the upcoming galleries in Paris gathered. My Parents live in the same building as Yvon Lambert's gallery, where I first discovered Anselm Kiefer's work. I like Tools Galerie, they always have a great selection of young designers, and the staff are really nice . Both of them are in the Rue Vieille du Temple street, facing each other. I also like Emmanuel Perrotin on the Rue de Turenn and Thaddeus Ropac in la Rue Debeylleme. Maybe I don't have a favourite gallery after all!

Where’s the best place to shop?
I might sound a bit obsessed with that place, but to me, it is Le Marais again... as with contemporary art, all the independent and underground fashion designers tend to have a place there. If I had the money, I would only shop there... I'm especially fond of brands such as Acne, Vivienne Westwood, Wood Wood, A.P.C, and lots of local French designers.

Best place for a good coffee.

The Swedish Institute. It is among my favourite places in Paris because I grew up there, I used to be part of the Swedish traditional celebration of light every year, although I don't have Nordic roots at all...They had wonderful storytellers who captivated me for hours with Pippi Longstockings adventures! They also have great exhibitions and the best hidden garden in all Paris!

Best place to see some nature.
Hard to answer; Paris is really not the place for great green places...If you want to be away from the city's noise and pollution, the best thing you have to do is to leave Paris for real, I suppose. One hour away from Paris by train, you already have nice countryside, little villages, cows and all...

Favourite piece of street/public art near you…

The morning spring light makes my own street really beautiful, and when you have the water of the Canal glowing, it is even greater!

The view from your bedroom is…
Straight on my neighbours' life... my curtains save my life everyday. Whenever I want to smoke at my window, I feel like Cary Grant in Hitchcock's Rear Window film...

The view from you workplace/studio is…
My school was redesigned by Philippe Starck six or seven years ago, and that was the worst decision ever. We have no windows, bad air conditioning, almost no light coming in, so no view at all. Starck obviously didn't think that students need to breathe to be able to produce...

Where do you go for music?

To my father's place. As a music journalist for more than thirty years now, he’s got the most impressive vinyl & record collection that I know. I never had to buy a single album.

Strongest or most unusual memory?

This year: The Hyères International Fashion and Photography festival, without a doubt!

Name a song that best sums up how you feel about your town.

'My Man' sung by Billie Holiday. I have no rational explanation.

Name an artwork that you feel represents your town.

Is might sound old, but I think 'Playtime' by Jacques Tati, has managed to catch something about Paris, even if the film does not take place in Paris, so to say.

Your ideal day out would include…

Great sun, blue sky, fresh breeze. Friends. A sweet loverboy. Great shopping. A great, green river with big, big trees. A picnic. A boat. Great food, and lemonade. A party. Clint Eastwood and Woody Allen accidentally dropping by.

By Imogen Eveson

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