FILIPPA EDGHILL IS A YOUNG ARTIST AND ILLUSTRATOR FROM SWEDEN, AS WELL AS A DEAR FRIEND OF MINE. I MET HER ONE SUNNY DAY WHEN SHE WAS LIVING IN HER VAN BY THE BEACH OF CÔTE DES BASQUES IN BIARRITZ (FRANCE), WHERE SHE HAD JUST LANDED. HER WORK EXPLORES THE FEMALE BODY IN ALL ITS FACETS AND UNREVEALED ASPECTS, CELEBRATING ITS WHOLE COMPLEXITY. THE OCEAN AND ITS SURROUNDINGS INSPIRE FILIPPA’S ART EVERY DAY, COLORING HER IMAGES WITH NUANCES OF INDIGO, DEEP BLUE AND BLACK.
TODAY SHE WILL LET US DISCOVER A LITTLE MORE ABOUT HER ECLECTIC WORLD AND THE INTRICATE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BEAUTY AND THE WOMAN.
Hi Filippa! Your paintings are so beautiful. Where do you take your inspiration from?
I’m really inspired by the female experience of living with the incredible power, beauty and strength of the woman but in a society that, still in 2016, is not equal. That is always the basis of the message and story presented in my paintings. For the aesthetics I think my style is influenced by a big love for the ocean, hence why I use the color blue to convey feminine beauty and strength because I see the same things in the ocean as I see in women. It’s powerful, mesmerizing and wild.
Why is the female character the most present in your works?
It’s the only subject I can really relate to. I can use the female body as a tool to send a message to other girls because it’s the one thing we all have in common. We all have two legs of different sizes, a pair of boobies and a set of sparkling wild eyes. I hope women can use my painted bodies as mirrors to see whatever they want in themselves. Be it strength or vulnerability, beauty or fear. I want to talk about experiences that are universal, even though they are personal, and the body is the perfect vehicle for that, since our bodies differences or imperfections are a great symbolism of the human experience.
I’m citing one quote of yours taken from your Instagram account: “The body is not a temple. Temples are torn down and easily disrespected. The body is a jungle. No matter how many times it is cut down it will always grow back. Trees die and new ones take their place. Thick vines hold everything together. The body of the jungle is immortal and strong. And getting lost in the jungle of a woman’s body is a stronger religious experience than any church or temple man could ever build.” I love your metaphor. Can you please tell us more about your idea of beauty linked to the female body?
I just want to praise our bodies because my feet have walked me to every place I have been in my life, my arms have hugged every lover, my lips have told my story, and my heart is beating tirelessly to keep me on my path. Our bodies are dissected in media, our hearts get broken, our skin is bruised in pursuit of adventure and the hardest of all our bodies survives the pressure that we put on ourselves because of external standards of beauty. I like the metaphor of a jungle because, just like the ocean, the contrasts of it is very relatable to the woman. it’s dangerous yet beautiful, strong yet fragile.
Nowadays the idea of beauty associated to the woman image is sometimes stereotyped. How do you think art should fight this?
I think the big difference between media and art is that the first tells lies whereas the later tells the truth. So that’s why I try to make an honest portrait of many different women so that we can rest our eyes on something that is beautiful but doesn’t make you feel like you are not enough at the same time.
A note of inspiration about beauty and the woman?
I find the most beautiful thing is a genuine laugh from deep down in your belly and a confident personal expression of style that identifies you as you. And kindness. Kind people are the most beautiful. After that nothing else matters.
Interview by Marta Tomasini