The striking creations of Aurélie Hoegy appear wild at first glance: a sudden movement of the body, the surprise of dancing hair or the twitch of lively materials found deep in a tropical jungle. Yet upon closer inspection, the designer’s sculptural objects reveal themselves to be so much more: innovative yarns that have been masterfully twisted into a plaited chair, or natural fibres meticulously coiffed into an oversized daybed that holds court like a matriarch. Make no mistake, this tour de force is anything but tame. Hoegy has quickly forged herself into a dynamic and mature artist who investigates the major themes of our time, from regenerative farming and the survival of craftsmanship to hybridity and the in between, or the imbuing of soul into otherwise inanimate furniture.
Working from her Parisian atelier while travelling to learn from rattan masters in Bali or collaborate on projects in Puerto Escondido, Hoegy is an open-minded creative whose innate curiosity leads to exploration, research and evolution.
Elongated forms and primitive shapes established her early work, an elaborate choreography of ropes and textiles, latex and silicone. After completing a masters in Contextual Design at Design Academy Eindhoven in 2013, her graduation project the McGuffin Lamp was exhibited in Shenzhen, at Mudac and the Van Abbemuseum. Subtitled Border between Normality and Abnormality, it was an early exploration of the designer using yarn to invade space and transform our daily reality into a poetic absurdity.
Her next project, The Dancers, was presented as a performance at Palais de Tokyo in Paris. A series of gnarly black chairs evoked the body and hair as an organic architecture; winning both the 2015 Rado Star Prize and the 2016 Pure Talent Contest, and later acquired by the French National Design Collection (Centre national des arts plastiques) in 2021. Hoegy took this same emotion and movement to new heights in Wild Fibres; sculptural seating meticulously crafted from rattan like undulating waves that washed ashore from another place. The chaise longue from the series is now part of the Centre Pompidou collection, while in 2023, her monumental Tapestry became a permanent feature of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Hoegy’s work continues to stir excitement, blurring the physical and psychological boundaries in everyday life. Her functional designs span limited edition objects, furniture and lighting, and encompass installation, scenography and film. Among her ongoing projects is the investigation of natural dyes and indigenous fibres in Mexico, including bejuco liana, palm leaves, coconut yarn and pineapple silks. By listening closely to such expressive materials, the designer is able to bring them to life in a powerful animistic way: breathing, purring and moving, taking their pulse while making our heart beat just a little faster in the process.
text: Philip Fimmano