Before pursuing a life into the world of art, Pallas Citroen had to go through diverse paths in order to figure that being an artist was the only career she could deal with.
“My passion for art started when I was young but then I got quite delayed with modelling. Now, however, I rather not do anything else.” Her legs leaning on the table and her back lying on the sofa, Pallas is cutting a series of designs in pieces. “This is the way I work,” she explains smiling. Her studio, based in Archway, North London, is where the magic happens. Bright colours are the recurring detail in Pallas’ studio: walls emanate an intriguing energy, brushes on the shelves and on the floor and ‘work in progress’ paintings are just the breadcrumbs of upcoming projects for this year. The celebration of the brand new Bomb Factory Art Foundation is among them: an art hub to establish a culturally enriching resource for the creative community with a series of exhibitions, events, open workshops, and artist talks.
Although art has always been part of her life, Pallas Citroen decided to come back to college only after experimenting different aspects: she first studied anthropology, but ran big clubs in London. Since her graduation at Saint Martin’s in 2004, Pallas has had her own studio but it was only a year ago that she needed to do something bigger. On January 20, Citroen began the Bomb Factory Art Foundation. Pallas is clear on one point; this nourishing space also used as art gallery, runs as a “kind of exciting new art destination,” becoming a new home for creatives. Artists can give critical framework and be inspired by others’ works, pushing and supporting each other in the process rather than “simply being solitary in the studio”.
For Pallas, one of the main requirements to succeed is to work on a big scale, conveying a sense of drama and making a major impact on the public. It fits with her background working on shoots and in clubs. Pieces reflect disco and the fantasy of the night. Sculpture and installation are her primary mediums but her intention now is “to combine these strands with film, and performative work”.
Colours are essential to reach and represent fake spaces of a contemporary decadence. A predominant theme is the “seduction within the visual space. I am preoccupied with surfaces and facades, imbuing additional or contrary seductive layers in and on to materials of quality or economy,” she says promptly. “It is the idea of escapism and transportation from the everyday that inspires me.”
As much as London has become popular for its innovative artistic extravaganza, Pallas points out that the role of art has changed in the cultural identity of British society throughout the years. “They don’t teach much art in schools anymore and with the current government it seems to be something they don’t value,” she affirms. Although in the past the creative subjects used to cover a greater part in people’s lives, today still remains important “to create a situation where [art] can carry on existing”.