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Folk x Damien Poulain | New Collaboration

Folk x Damien Poulain | New Collaboration

Our Summer 2024 collection marks the second season we’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with french artist Damien Poulain. From murals to miniatures, Damien’s projects invite cross-cultural engagement and build communities, spreading a universal message of love, beauty, and possibility. A lover of symbols and profound entities, his latest works were inspired by The Sun and the Moon. It is our privilege to have reimagined these pieces into the wearable world. To get an insight into his generous and otherworldly mindset we sat down with him to discuss time, space and the poetry of colours.

What is your process? How do you start thinking about a piece? 

I have an organic process, my everyday surroundings and daily experiences are constantly feeding my mind with ideas and images. Anything around me can be a source of inspiration: from the colour of a flower, the sound of a bird, the smell of perfume, or a piece of architecture; anything is and can become a memory, which I then store in hidden boxes in my mind. All those memories are like little gems constituting a universe of ideas ready to be linked like a collage.

What’s the best thing about what you do? 

Without any doubt; it is time. Time to think, time to reflect and develop personal and meaningful work. Not feeling the pressure of time is essential to letting ideas come naturally and organically.  

The collection is based around your paintings The Sun and The Moon - Why are those entities so important and inspirational to you? 

From a visual standpoint, I’ve been fascinated with planets since I was a child when I would spend lots of time looking through astronomy books in my bedroom. I was mesmerised by the blue Earth levitating in a dark background, turning around a huge yellow sun while a little white moon hid from it. I guess, it’s about colour, which played a big part in how I learnt to see and feel the world around me. How can we not be touched by the beauty of those beasts, punctuating our daily lives with cycles and magnetism? This is a fascination that started on weekends at home on Sun days, and carried on, on Moon days and the rest of week days. 

The size of your works varies wildly - why does playing with scale excite you? 

As much as I am fascinated by the infinitely large, I am also obsessed with the profound nature of details. I am regularly looking at things from micro to macro, from a human perspective to non-human, gigantic forms. The various sizes of my work are linked to how I live - the fact that I do not have a big artist studio to work from so look to outdoor spaces to paint and express myself. My work is nomadic. I travel a lot so small pieces I paint on paper or textiles which I can fold and easily pack into a suitcase. The enormous paintings are done on-site and are produced in conversation with the place in which they’ll live; they are ephemeral and have their own life.

Given that public spaces seem to be your preferred canvas, how has it felt seeing your work reimagined on garments?

In French, the words for clothes and home share the same root (‘habit / habitat’), so it feels natural to think of clothing as a space in which to express oneself. For me, painting in public spaces is a way of interacting with others, allowing anyone to be fed with beauty and the poetry of colours. Having my work reimagined on garments feels like an extension of that interaction, allowing people to express themselves with my colours and the symbolic entities of the sun and the moon.

What's coming up next for you? 

As part of the Olympic Games 2024, I am painting two basketball pitches in France, Paris and Hyères. I have also been commissioned by the Contemporary Art Center MABA in Nogent Sur Marne, near Paris, to paint a table tennis table for the group exhibition S’Print. Later this year, I’m participating in a group show at the Biennale of Lorient 2024, curated by Sebastien Esteban Desplat. I will be hosting a few workshops in different locations, sharing what I know and getting people to see their familiar surroundings in fun and creative ways.

Thank you for taking the time to talk, Damien. 

Find out more about his work here 

Or shop the collection