Ixia has been interested in various genres of writing since her childhood in Lilas, France. A year after finishing a Master of French Literature degree at the University of Paris III (the Sorbonne Nouvelle) in 2001, she decided to study drawing so that she could illustrate her diverse literary projects into other mediums and adaptations.
Ixia has an aptitude with oil on Canvas. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in her family, she studies with her father Aimé Venel, a master of fine arts and known throughout the world. Ixia’s magnificent works expresses the many bright vibrant colors of the South Eastern Asian culture.
Your works are mostly East Asian related. What inspires you to choose that subject?
Materials, patterns and prints have always been of particular interest to me for diverse reasons: harmony of colors, details, mythological inspiration, fauna, flora... Of course these penchants concern my own culture and also other countries as England, Russia or Italy, but especially Asia.
And when I look at ethnic minorities who live there, a spiritual or philosophical feeling comes out and reaches my own sensibility. It is like an invisible and unexplainable link. I like the coulours and the creation they put into their clothing, I find in a beauty that moves me. That is why I have chosen to paint portraits of subjects in traditional costume while allowing the flexibility of personal interpretation. I need to feel this kind of ‘connection’ before starting a new artwork.
Your fine art are very vibrant in colors, sometimes abstract and unrealistic to that of natural tones, respectively. Does it express your emotion or the emotion of your work in any way?
I know how to play with color-harmonies and balance. Sometimes backgrounds give an other dimension to the character, sometimes it is on the same wavelength or like a jewel case. I’ve studied with Aimé Venel, my father. He has learnt for four years with his master Edouard Mac’Avoy who studied with Bonnard, Vuillard and who worked with Braque. One can tell I am from the old school!
Aimé Venel taught me how they used to paint, what he had learnt and what he had found out after years of search. Thanks to his teaching which lets a free creative impulse, I can go on my way combining abstract forms and a semi-realistic style to create portraits rich in colors, rich in dynamics and above all in emotion’s service.
How did you come to know about the Hmong and their culture?
In 2003, I had to find a theme with a view to my first exhibition just when I had been planning to visit Vietnam with a friend. So I started to gather documentation which made me filled with admiration for a portrait of a Hmong girl.
My trip has been cancelled and put off but that day I had found my favorite subject. Then I learnt more about ethnic minorities spread in Laos, China etc. Today when I discover new ones, it gives me more and more inspiration, even if I have got a special heart-link with the Hmong from Vietnam without knowing exactly why!
What are your future ambitions in your work?
I would like people who appreciate my artworks to consider having a part of the world at home: my original vision of the world. I want to create an art that broadens their horizons. My work is in keeping with a will of fraternity. To achieve my purpose, I plan in the future to do exhibitions and to enter into galleries around the world because I think I have a work beyond frontiers.
If you could teach me one word or phrase in French what would that be?
I’ll teach you the French Republic’s motto which remains to be reached and improved: “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”
What does it mean?
“Freedom, equality, fraternity”