French and Egyptian, Marie Aimee Fattouche was born and raised in Paris. She has lived in London for two years now and studied on the MA Fine Art course at Chelsea. Marie Aimee tells us about her practice since graduating and her plans for the future, including heading to China to explore its art scene

What have you been up to since you graduated?  

Just after I graduated I initiated a community of UAL alumni in south London as part of a bigger existing artistic community. We were 12 fine artists that had just graduated and shared a studio together. It lasted for a few months, then everybody reached out to new directions that were more suitable for their practice. After the intensity of this very enriching and stimulating MA year, finding a new working pace was very hard at first. I still realise today how much I learned during my MA, but also how long it takes after to step back from it and really understand the radical change it brought to my practice.

I am currently sharing a studio with a very talented artist from my MA and spending my time doing research, writing, working in my studio, exhibiting, exchanging and imagining with my Chelsea community.

Tell us about your practice, how has it developed since graduating?  

My practice has radically changed from before my MA. I came to Chelsea as mostly a painter, after experimenting all year and challenging my creative thinking process, I am nowadays mostly focused on sculpture. I create sculptures or installations, kinetic or not, participative and performative that attempt to question collective responsibility. Since the end of my MA, I also started having an active creative writing practice. I feel that writing my final MA dissertation gave me an insight into my writing possibilities.

What are you currently working on?  

I am currently working and writing on urban architecture, challenging its segregated structures, highlighting the power of community-based construction, and more generally investigating the tension lying between the fluidity of our bodies and the rigidity of our surroundings.

I am taking care of the curation of a show that will present five artists in August including myself (all Chelsea alumni) working from performance to painting, sound to sculpture. The show, titled Cast of My Shape will seek to dive into the fragile, dual and oscillating dialogue between self and its different “casts”: remedial and supportive, while constraining and suffocating.

This show will also be the opportunity for me to experiment with live performance for the first time. I am currently working on a sculptural installation in which I will perform in collaboration with another performative artist. I am very excited by all the upcoming possibilities of my practice.

Dominoes’ mektoub (2017) – aluminium, electrical wire, embroidery. Photo credit: Alessandra Sormani

What have been your greatest achievements since graduating from Chelsea?

Since graduating from my MA I am very proud to have taken part in four different group exhibitions and to have been the recipient of two amazing awards. The Mercers’ Arts Award has been an amazing financial support to help me settle as an artist and invest in material and equipment for my studio. And The Red Mansion Foundation Art Prize & Exhibition will allow me to participate in a month long residency in Beijing next September at Red Gate Gallery and give me the opportunity to take part in a significant group show in London in Spring 2018.

What are your future plans?  

I am really looking forward to spending a month on the residency in Beijing next September and discovering the Chinese culture and art scene. I know that this experience will enrich my practice and I am eager to discover all the outcomes my artistic research has to offer.

I am also currently preparing for an exam in March to become “Professeur Agrégé“ in the Arts and be able to move back to Paris to teach at university level, while maintaining my artistic practice.

My most important general plan is to keep making art, experimenting, enjoying it and let myself be surprised by its development.

Looking at (2017) – aluminium. Photo credit: Marie Aimee Fattouche

Tell us about your time at Chelsea, what do you miss? What did you enjoy the most?

What I miss and enjoyed the most at Chelsea is the ongoing intense critical dialogue with creative people from different ages, backgrounds, nationalities, interests. I think the diversity that is in Chelsea made it an unforgettable enriching experience personally and artistically. Even if the pace has slowed and the intensity has settled, I am very happy to still have this ongoing discussion and participate in regular studio visits with my Chelsea friends.

What is the most important thing you learned on the course?

I think this quote shared by my course leader depicts exactly the essential learning of art and of my time on the course:

“And I couldn’t forget, at the outset of the job, to prepare myself to err. Not forgetting that the error had often become my path. Every time something I was thinking or feeling didn’t work out—was because finally there was a breach, and, if I’d had the courage before, I’d have gone through it. But I’d always been afraid of delirium and error. My error, however, must be the path of a truth: since only when I err do I step out of what I know and what I understand. If ‘truth’ were whatever I could understand—it would end up being just a small truth, one my size.”

The Passion According to G.H. Clarice Lispector

What advice would you give to our students who are about to graduate?

I would give as advice to new graduates to each find their own directions after the MA and take the time to reflect and step back from the intensity of this year.  But above all, to stick together and know that they will always have their community to come back to. They are the only ones who are going through the exact same rocky emotional stress and excitement of being an emerging artist. I feel the most precious thing I have kept from Chelsea is the community of amazingly genuine, interesting and creative people.

See more work by Marie Aimee

Read more about MA Fine Art

Explore last year’s MA Fine Art Postgraduate Summer Show