Art Cup Project
Artist: Fleur Schell
Title: Cup Of Love Sculpture
“My role as an artist is noticing to notice. To interpret the narratives that deeply move us all as we go about our daily rituals”.
We sat down with Fleur to find out about the woman behind the sculpture and the sculpture in front of the woman.
What’s your coffee order?
Oh no, I don’t drink coffee! But I love tea. English Breakfast with a dash of milk.
Where can you view her work?
Follow me on Instagram for updates and visit my website to view more. You can see my work at Linton Kay galleries, at Found in Fremantle arts centre. I just had a 2-year exhibition at Linton Kay, so I’m taking a breather. I’ll be doing a community-based project, building a giant arc that’s going to involve a bunch of people. The arc will be a moving museum that’s going to have all the messages on how we can turn all of our backyards into an arc. It’s a message I’m hoping to take to schools all across WA to inspire kids to turn their backyard into something really special and hopefully bring about philosophical change. I have a very exciting project coming up in April at the International Clay Festival in New South Wales. I’ll be one of 10 masters, who for 7 days will workshop in a designated building where the public can visit and fully immerse themselves for 7 days. It was meant to happen in 2020, then 2021 and now 2022, until I’m on the plane. I’m not convinced it’s going to happen.
Why did you choose this piece of artwork for the cup?
Just to give out that message of love. Through love, there’s hope and connectivity and it might trigger someone to fill up another cup of coffee and take it to someone else and start a conversation, who knows, but that would be really lovely if that was the outcome.
What is the story behind this piece of art?
It’s a child that is playing hide and seeks inside a cup. When my dear friend contacted me and said that there was a possibility that artwork could go on these biodegradable cups, I said “wouldn’t it be great to have a cup on top of a cup?” So, I then went looking through my backlog of artwork and there was this child coming out of a cup asking a question about love. I don’t know if there’s a really strong narrative with this piece, but it’s more of an object that hopes for love. There’s no beginning, middle and end, it’s just love. One of the nice things about not going too deep or too literally is that it allows the work to be open to interpretation. It’s quite nice. But ironically, I don’t think there’s a more powerful message than love. Love is all you need, really. I started putting love on a lot of my work at the beginning of COVID, because I felt like there were many people out there that were so affected by COVID, so isolated, and they just needed my love. I decided I’m just going to put “love” all over everything right now because I just want people to feel they’re adored, they’re not alone and there are many people out there that really love them.
What appealed to you about this project?
The material that I work with is probably the most permanent material on the planet and suddenly I’m taking this material which has this unbelievable permanency and putting it on something that’s disposable, a takeaway coffee cup. I like the play with that. I was interested in doing a project with Pete Ross, the most wonderful man, and the thought of spending more time with him. He’s a genuine artist who doesn’t dabble. He lives, breathes and eats his art.
Why is it important to support the arts?
It’s critical. It’s what we live for, isn’t it? Because the arts provide optimism, an opportunity to think about yourself, the life you live, and the surrounding people differently. It’s what feeds us. It makes us feel happy; it makes us feel sad. It’s the nourishment we need to fill our lives. During COVID, it has forced people to stay in the confines of their homes and there has just been this explosion of craft and people working with their hands. What the arts do is provide healing and mental health solutions to a lot of the questions we don’t have answers to. For many people, the arts have been their salvation. A preoccupation from the fear of the unknown, which is what the pandemic has created. It’s more important than ever to engage in the creativity of some sort. I know when I sit here every day and I make I feel incredible clarity and it’s provided with a fair amount of peace. It’s like I’ve offloaded problems and I can take on the struggles of others because I’m not burdened by the stuff that I have had in my head. If this object on this cup provokes someone to be creative, then I think I’ve done my job. For no other reason other than for their own mental health.