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
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
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.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine