Arts & Culture


Launch of Clarisse's new immersive installation inspired by the history of the Queen's christmas broadcast

The world of champagne and art are closer than you might think. Both stimulate the senses and are synonymous with creativity and passion. Not to mention that, in both cases, there is a painstaking process one has to go through to achieve the end result. Jean Boucton Champagne recognises the similarities between the two worlds and has a particular affiliation with photographer and artist, Clarisse d’Arcimoles. We caught up with Clarisse to discuss her new exhibition, her influences, and, of course, her favourite champagne…

Before we discuss your new exhibition let’s talk about how you came to be in this position. Have you always had a passion for photography and art?

I studied Set Design for Performance at Central Saint Martins followed by a Postgraduate course in photography. My practice marries both my experience with photography and my experience with set design as I am primarily concerned with revisiting old photographs by restaging them in the present. I wouldn’t consider myself a photographer in the most traditional sense.

Your style is unique, what is it that inspires your work?

My work has always been inspired by the history of photography or old photographs. I am fascinated by how a photograph can tell a story and how we can travel into the past through an image. In my work, I’m using time as a partner because I know that I can’t physically go back in time…

How important is it to you that your exhibition conveys a message to the viewer?

ESSENTIAL, by creating immersive installations, I like to share with the audience in the most physical ways my obsession of stepping into old photographs. From the very moment the audience enters the exhibition, they are drawn to investigate frames of British history and tradition. This exhibition stimulates the flow of thoughts and memories and gives rise to a rediscovery of photography while presenting video as a powerful critical tool of reality and documentation.

Clearly, your love of photography and time travel plays a part in your new exhibition, I Wish You All. What inspired this particular piece of work?

I Wish You All is a new installation inspired by the history of the Queen’s Christmas broadcast from 1957 until the current day. Since her first televised message in 1957, The Queen has ruled through historic events and periods of change and she has used her Christmas Day broadcast to highlight the importance of reconciliation between the people. I Wish You All investigates how the Queen’s annual Christmas message has reflected on world events and social upheavals over six decades of visual changes. The visitor is invited to observe the evolution of the speech throughout the years in a sensory environment and to realise that history undeniably repeats itself infinitum.

The creation of such an intricate and elaborate exhibition must have been exhausting. Was the launch of the exhibition as rewarding as you’d hoped?

There isn’t much time between the moment you’re holding your drill and the beginning of the private view! This exhibition is exactly how I dreamt it years ago. It was a really long process and it is wonderful to finally see the end and share it with all the people that have been supporting me since day one.

The installations itself are now available for acquisition so I am really hoping to find a good home for it after the show too.

After all your hard work you and your guests enjoyed the exhibition whilst sampling Jean Boucton Champagne. Do you think champagne and art are a good pairing?

DEFINITELY, Champagne and Art have a lot in common as they both require a dedicated passion but also a long meticulous process. Every Champagne is unique, every artwork is unique. Plus they both combine the traditional with the current.