JEANNE VERDOUX, Visual Artist & Ceramicist

Jeanne is a visual artist creating works on paper and in ceramics. She has been awarded grants from the French Ministry of Culture, The Bronx Museum, NYFA, LMCC, French Institute and Chashama. Her work has been exhibited in the US, Canada, France and China. She earned an MFA from The Royal College of Art. Verdoux lives and work in NYC.

Is this your first creative workspace in NYC?

I’ve had a number of spaces, from small studios with no windows to multiple studios through artist-in-residence programs. I’ve also worked from home. When I first visited Rockella, I was taken by the space, particularly the amazing windows and lights. It felt like a space where I could really expand, develop and feel comfortable.

How has the space at Rockella helped you along in your creative journey?

Previously, my work has been dictated by the size of the space around me and how comfortable I am within it. Looking back over the 4 years I’ve been with Rockella, I can see that my work has become very, very big. I’ve developed into creating wall-sized drawings. My work has also turned to using recycled materials I find in the surrounding neighborhood of the studio, like cardboard and paper. As an artist, I don’t want to produce more stuff, so I don’t believe in buying new art materials. I feel that there is enough stuff in this world that can be transformed and utilized, which is inspiring when my studio is situated in a commercial area.

Tell us a little bit about your creative work.

I started making drawings during my childhood and it has developed into large wall-sized drawings that sometimes turn into paintings. I mostly make works on paper but I also make ceramics and like to play around with multimedia techniques like photography and animation. The heart of my work always comes back to drawing, and simple graphic ideas based on my life experience as a woman artist, and as a mother.

What is the source of your creative inspiration?

I’m really an observer of the world. Throughout my life, I’ve vigilantly observed what’s happening around me wherever I’m living. I’ve been living in New York City for over 20 years now, so it’s mostly about what people are doing. I then transform that experience into images. Sometimes it’s more about my own personal experience, but my inspiration is in everyday life.

Have you had a chance to network with other artists in the building?

At the beginning, there was a bit of networking where we actually organized some open studios. Unfortunately, many people have come and gone due to COVID-19, but I would really like to see more networking. I always keep my studio door open when I am in and feel it’s so important to just come in and say “hi” to my neighbours. Sometimes we don’t even talk about our work, but it’s nice to just hangout for a few minutes and see what other people are doing.