In the studio: Laure Prouvost, film and installation artist

'You have to be helped not to see the motorway next to the waterfall'

Entering Laure Prouvost's studio in east London, which she has sub-let for the past five years, I am taken aback by its modesty of scale. Having won the prestigious Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2011, and been nominated for the Turner Prize this year, I had expected something grander.

Prouvost is about to give birth, (she has since had a daughter) and is hastening to complete her work for the Lyon Bienniale. Born in Lille, northern France, in 1978, she came to London at 18, she tells me in her charming accented English, punctuated frequently by her trilling laugh.

She came initially to study film at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design "and then I got stuck here, created friendships and relationships and people you love".

In the interim of almost 10 years between St Martins and Goldsmiths, where she completed a year of her two-year BA degree, she became a part-time assistant to artist John Latham, who she says is "more like my grandfather than my 'real' one", and who provides the focus of her installation referencing the German painter Kurt Schwitters, which will form the centrepiece of her Turner Prize exhibition.

The Lyon project will have to be installed without her, and her team of workers is milling around making final adjustments. They have constructed a quasi-womb-like cave filled with strange sculptures – a large paper cigar, a blond wig and a rickety wing chair from the 1970s. There will be a video component, she explains, but the final installation will be twice as big.

Prouvost's recent film Respirations, like much of her work, is "playing with the idea of translation that is the starting point of my work – how do you translate feeling into painting, or some words how they miscommunicate or can be misused". The theme is deceptively simple, she says. "Respirations is the most direct work that I have done. My mum likes it because it is about pleasure. Yet the work is still anxious."

Respirations is filmed deliberately in the style of a pastoral idyll, and includes scenes of herself bathing naked amid a group of young women, recreating seemingly effortlessly the atmosphere of early paintings. She recalls "how you have to be helped not to see the motorway next to the waterfall. It is all controlled".

The studio is filled with remnants of past works and potential materials for the future. On a shelf is a sculptural bread made by a master baker in the italian town of Biella, where the Pistoletto art foundation is based. "This one is broken, so I brought it back, but it is beautiful," Prouvost says. Nearby, a plastic squid lies splashed with realistic black dye, while a sign saying "Before the end" stands propped up on the desk.

Prouvost asks her assistant to "make me a video camera!" A superfluous box is found, black gaffer tape and a plastic drinking cup are located and a recognisable video camera is created to sit alongside the "flying jumper". Looking around the studio, Prouvost says: "I wish it was more tidy, but sometimes it quite provokes something."

Laure Prouvost's work will be shown at the Turner Prize 2013 exhibition in Derry-Londonderry as part of its UK City of Culture celebrations

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace