Emmanuelle is a Marseille girl through and through. After working for luxury fashion houses in the French capital followed by a stint at an art gallery in Buenos Aires, she returned to her beloved coastal city in the south of France. There, you’ll find her lunching at the seaside district of les Catalans, swimming off the coast of the Frioul islands, seeking shade under a traditional Provençal reed screen (known as a “canisse”) or hiding out on her little sailboat named Talia.
When she is not sailing, this dame of the Mediterranean is exploring the creative scene in Marseille. As well as running her own consulting firm and art gallery, Piece A Part, Emmanuelle works as an art critic, gallery owner, exhibition commissioner and curator.
© Sophie Denux
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO ACHIEVE THIS AUTUMN?
“To continue developing new projects that are close to my heart, such as those I am leading for Sessùn, but also to flesh out some new ideas, especially with regard to publishing. To take time to stay connected to nature through sailing and gardening. To read a lot. And to produce new episodes of Rivages, a podcast about the sea that I launched during the lockdown.”
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND PIECE A PART?
“Piece A Part is an evolving project, an aesthetic adventure. Originally, I had the desire to gather pieces of art and design, and present them in domestic spaces, outside of the classic gallery layout. What interested me in the constitution of these imaginary private collections was to make different universes communicate, to re-contextualise the pieces to serve a purpose or to push a particular aesthetic. That was in 2018.”
“Subsequently, through different projects and key encounters (notably, with interior designer François Champsaur and Emma François - the founder of Sessùn), Piece A Part began to take on the the form of a curatorial studio: buying art for hotels, curating private collections, developing artistic collaborations for brands, editing an architecture magazine... The projects are extremely varied, but overall the role of Piece A Part always comes back to artistic direction: taking care of an image or an identity, by working hand in hand with artists, designers and craftsmen.”
Interior decoration of the main suite at Vaste Horizon Hotel by Piece a Part
Amphora Mano Mani, on sale at Piece A Part
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT CURATING PIECES FOR SESSÙN’S ALMA STORE?
“With this space our aim was to transpose the soul of Sessùn into a place that was varied and warm, dedicated to art, craftsmanship, and to sharing savoir-faire and values dear to the brand. The selection therefore focused on highlighting independent craftspeople, who work with natural materials such as wood or ceramics. The graphic lines are therefore very free and natural, giving off a certain raw energy and a timeless aesthetic.”
“We also enjoyed curating a selection of art books to be sold in store, most of which are published by independent publishers. Whether we’re talking about the book selection or the decorative pieces, the project goes beyond the simple framework of the Alma store in my opinion. It aims more broadly at presenting publications and creations that cannot be found anywhere else in the city of Marseille.”
© Estelle Rancurel - Sessùn
WHAT ARTIST (OR ARITSTS) INSPIRE YOU?
“There are many, but at the moment I am closely following the work of Atelier Musset, the Haos designers and ceramists Catherine Dix, Asterisque and Marta Bonilla, to name a few!”
© Catherine Di
@ Atelier Musset
Haos - Collectible Fair
HOW DID YOU DESIGN YOUR APPARTMENT?
“A bit like a seaside shack: the walls and floor are all in white waxed concrete and are immaculate, so as to bring in as much light and serenity as possible. Blue is very present in the cushions, curtains and household linen, but the coloured ceramics and paintings, have varied influences to avoid falling into a cliché that is overly Greek for example.”
“The garden is very present, I love crawling, climbing plants that cover the walls and the railings, I like to have cuttings all over the house to emphasize that feeling of being anchored in nature. I also make a point of keeping only objects that make real sense to me: in particular, old books from my father’s library, pieces in wood carved by my grandfather, ceramics, drawings and paintings made by the artists I care about the most.”
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO COLOUR PALETTE?
“Natural tones of course, that are often muted and earthy, which I like to enhance with cobalt blue or brighten up with emerald green. In short, colours that remind me of Provence and its seaside cottage landscape.”
Vase - Charles Antoine Chappuis - sold on Piece A Part
Piece A Part
WHAT DECORATIVE PIECE HELP TO ENHANCE A PAINTING?
“A beautiful carved wooden lamp or a beautiful ceramic vase.”
YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS IN MARSEILLE?
“The restaurants Nestou in Les Catalans, and Limmat in Rue Estelle. The Double V gallery on Rue Saint-Jacques of course and the Franca ceramics workshop.”
“The Vaste Horizon, in Arles, which is preparing a series of exhibitions for the end of September.”
@ Vaste Horizon
WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL SUNDAY LOOK LIKE?
“Starting the day with a jog or a swim in the sea depending on the weather, cooking with good produce and having lunch with my family, spending part of the afternoon reading in the sun, the other part gardening. Working a bit in the evening and going to bed with a good podcast.”
THE BEST GIFTS TO GIVE OR RECEIVE?
“A beautiful book, an antique object, a print picked up at an auction... I try to focus as much as possible on buying second hand and on pieces that are full of history.”
Emmanuelle Oddo's Wishlist