Former gymnast and dance teacher Emmanuelle Cuny has always been fascinated by the movement and beauty of the gesture. In 2012, she replaced her dance shoes with upholstery tools with an ambition in mind: to reinvent upholstery art by linking design and traditional know-how with new technologies.
From her first professional life in gymnastics and dance, Emmanuelle Cuny preserves her passion for movement and gesture. Rigor, demand, a sense of detail and an overall vision are among the qualities of the choreographer/craftswoman. Inhabited by a very intimate connection to body and movement, she decided to work at conceiving objects.
She learned to be an upholstery art decorator at Neufchateau and Liffol-le-Grand, the French capital of solid wood seating. After graduating, she pursued a specialization in design and creation.
In the craftsmanship of making a chair, she exalts the beauty of the gesture and the artistic singularity. “I do not just want to be in production, in the rationality of the product … Each project is part of a history of its own, inspired by a function, a form, a material, a technique.”
In search of objects bearing meaning, and wishing to evoke several sensations at once, the creator does not set herself any barriers during her creative research. In her studio in the Vosges, in northeastern France, she experiments constantly with her upholstery art. Centenary utensils blend with computer tools, and so the 18th-century chairs evolve — thanks to innovative textiles printed using the latest technologies.
MORE: Shop Emmanuelle Cuny’s creations
With her armchair Tesselle, Cuny conceived a seat for life, not a gallery. The timeless structure recalls the furniture of the ’50s and reveals a graphic play of nesting cushions inspired by the works of Klee. All the cushions are repositionable, allowing its owner to modify the composition according to personal desires.
To the question on whether she defines herself above all as designer, artisan or artist, Cuny simply answers “… in reality, the question counts much less than the quality of the objects.”