Elle-Louise Burguez is a Wonder Woman.
Conjuring worlds where stresses evaporate and afternoons are spent picnicking in leisure, Elle-Louise has a way of beguiling her audience into her painted fantasies. A writer and filmmaker too, Elle-Louise's abundant creativity is evident from the moment you enter her digital sphere; considered, compelling and utterly radical.
This month we caught up with Elle-Louise in her studio. Wearing the sandals from our recent collaboration with Post Sole Studio, we also took a moment to chat about the motivations that drew her to art and the stories behind her various projects.
Words by Alex Birch, Images by Agnieszka Chabros
Making and creating a little bit of everything, your practice is exceptionally varied. What’s your story? What compelled you to pursue a creative life?
I think at the core I am constantly learning and growing as a woman and as an artist, and will always be creating a little bit of everything in a state of practicing and experimenting. I grew up as an only child and can remember a lot of times spent alone making little things out of leaves and flowers or speaking out stories with my barbie dolls or with the soap bottles in the bathtub... I think I have learned to indulge in solitude and to be alone for me means to create (sometimes to just watch netflix and eat also).
A creative life is full of a lot of inspired thoughts and colours and moments of pure joy whilst practicing what it is you do.. but also it is full of lonely moments because you are not working with a team. I am always making my own decisions and building so many ideas and projects and it can sometimes feel empty and like I am the only one that is apart of my creative world. I am learning to just accept and keep growing and understand that not everything you do must be adored by others and that the world is quite disconnected at the moment and it is not just me!
So, I guess I pursued and continue to pursue with all of my heart because I truly can't imagine a life not doing this and also being so close to my parents who began as creatives too has made a big impact on me. The happiest and most successful times of their lives has been when they have been in control of what they want to do and I admire that.
We love your short film vignettes, taking the viewer with you on European holidays and intimate picnics. Can you tell us a little about these projects; is film something you’d like to dedicate more energy to?
Oh I so want to continue to make these films when I travel next. I filmed them all on my phone because my camera got stolen in Morocco. But I ended up really loving the raw feel of the films. I think that is why people love them, you feel as though you are right there. I used to always play piano over my films but once I cut them up my boyfriend suggested that I just keep it natural without a score behind it and it really made them magical.
I think it reminds the viewer that life is so full of different textures and sounds and luscious colours. I love when you can hear people speaking in different languages in the background, it takes me back to the exact time I was there. It is a great way to remember a holiday or a certain time of your life. If only you could smell through the screen too!
Illustrating scenes of dinners awaiting consumption and sunrooms set for lunch, your prints offer the observer a joyful glimpse into idyllic dreamscapes. What draws you to these still-life narratives? Tell us a bit about your relationship with colour and texture.
I think I am drawn to these scenes because all of my favourite moments in real life are when I have made beautiful food of an afternoon or am with loved ones sitting on the floor talking deeply and eating little treats or sipping drinks. I also really appreciate beautiful interior design and architecture so whilst I haven't yet got my own home I can imagine how I would love it to be. My relationship with colour and texture is very obsessive haha. Colour for me is everything. When I am painting I am choosing different colours kind of like how I would choose different notes on the piano. It is a constant improvisation and it is so healing.
You’ve published a number of books now; poems and paintings. What drives you to write? What stories are you telling?
Writing is another channel for me to express myself and to connect to others. I love to read many different styles of writing and I feel as though the world is losing its love of literature. I guess I am celebrating the beauty of the written word and how it can open up new worlds for the reader. We can escape and we can also feel as one when we read the words of a complete stranger and realise that we really are all very similar and we need not distance ourselves so much. My children's books are telling simple stories to lighten up a child's imagination and also to teach them new words and ideas. My latest Children's book will be out in December and it has a deeper meaning which I am excited to share soon.
'Honeyed Stories' is like my personal journal. I tell stories of my happy heart, my sad heart and my experiences in love and trying to fully love myself. I have fought eating disorders in the past and have come out of them completely through my own self-healing and I want to subtly share my own growth with others so that they too can begin to heal and love themselves. Whether it be through mental illness or just the current human psyche which seems to not want to nurture itself and rather self destruct.
Do you have any daily rituals or routines? Can you tell us about your practice?
I love rituals! Mine hasn't been as strict lately as I've been moving around a bit but I can't go without a little yoga or ballet (ballet beautiful on youtube- EPIC!), a little chocolate everyday (sometimes a whole block) and also lots of water and herbs. I take a lot of my partner's herbs 'Let Go Herbs' everyday to keep me feeling as vibrant as possible whilst living in a city and to boost my immunity. I would usually have a lot of baths as well but I don't have a bath in my current house and I would also jump in the ocean nearly everyday. Some sun on my face is a must as well. I want to get back to a set ritual though because I think it is very nurturing for the soul.
What does being radical mean to you?
Radical means living completely from a place of love and not fear :)