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peinture mon ami crocodile

15 October 2021

Lindsay Grime – a joyful and colorful world but no less politically committed !

Illustrator, painter and creator of unusual objects, artist Lindsay Grime offers us a dreamlike and poetic vision of the world. Her creations in multiple forms (paintings, ceramics, wooden boxes, mural paintings, colorful musical instruments) feature human and animal characters who live joyously in a lush and colorful nature. Meeting from Glasgow.


Lindsay, where did your love for illustration come from?

I come from a family of artists. Each of my parents has an artistic practice. My mother is a ceramicist and my father is a sculptor and muralist. In the past he made large sculptures and mural paintings for public commissions. In particular, there is a well-known mural in Leith in Edinburgh about the history of the neighborhood, which appears in the film Trainspotting 2!

fresque de Paul Grime, Edimbourg

Mural in Leith, Edinburgh, by my father Paul Grime


céramique de la mère de Lindsay

Ceramic of my mother Helen Kemp

When I was two or three years old, my father went to Mexico, fascinated by its huge political murals.

I have always been obsessed with drawing. When I was little, my parents would find me in my bed around 11pm still drawing! I spent most of  my time drawing, creating, making stuff from paper.

My parents really encouraged me in this passion. For me, it was quite natural to go to an art school while for some of my classmates studying at Edinburgh College of Art was the result of a struggle within their family to assume the choice of an artistic career.

So far as I remember I always knew that I wanted to study in art school. The year before I entered Edinburgh College of Art I went to the degree show and the work in the illustration department was amazing! That convinced me to apply there to study illustration.


Which artists inspire you in particular?

It’s quite a classic answer, but I like figurative painters like Picasso, Chagall, Le Douanier Rousseau.

L'innocence archaïque, Le Douanier Rousseau - L'anniversaire, Chagall

Chagall Archaic innocence, Le Douanier Rousseau- The birthday, Chagall

There is also the Dutch painter Jerôme Bosch, who belongs to the Flemish primitive movement of the early 16th century. The Italian painters of the Renaissance, even of the Gothic period, touch me a lot. It is very illustrative, a central image, and around it, boxes like a comic book, to communicate with a public at the time for the most part illiterate. I have a particular interest in this very narrative form. There is especially the painting of the Annunciation by Simone Martini, in Florence. The characters are very moving, there is a real tenderness in their faces.


The Annunciation, Simone Martini

Persian miniatures also inspire me … In fact, I have an attraction for the absence of perspective, paintings before perspective, where there is an incredible wealth of  patterns, details. The same goes for icons. The elements are a little floating, often on a gold background (I love gold) not too anchored in a landscape.

Khamza of Nizami

Khamza of Nizami

The lack of perspective that you evoke, the somewhat floating characters, make me think of your work. Could you describe your creation process to us?

For ceramics, I don’t plan too much. Sometimes I just start to paint. I’m pretty confident, I’m not afraid of making mistakes. With ceramics I feel very liberated, very spontaneous.

My illustrations are part of a lineage. Over time, I developed a sort of language, a vocabulary of images. There is something about technique of painting on ceramics where the gesture suggests the forms, and also maybe because ceramics are 3D objects they are harder to plan.

Ceramics, Lindsay Grime

Ceramics, Lindsay Grime

For the rest, I use my sketchbook. I plan more, for example for linocuts. The framework is more precise; we are forced to think more about the composition. I usually start by making thumbnail sketches. For the murals I start from my small drawings and I enlarge them. There is something livelier, more direct that emanates from the small drawings.

At the moment, I am more in a ceramic and linocut period. I’m trying to work on a series around the flower and the snake, my current favorite animal, more for its graphic look than anything else!


It seems that any object, any medium, is a pretext for creation. How did you go from drawing to other artistic practices such as ceramics?

My mother is a ceramist. I think growing up, and being surrounded by her work I slightly took it for granted and didn’t recognise the influence it had on me. Today I would like to give my mum a lot of credit. We share the same sensitivity: nature, dreams, and female characters.

Ukulele, Lindsay Grime

Ukulele, Lindsay Grime

The universe of dreams, tales inhabit your creations. Are you really inspired by certain tales or dreams for your illustrations?

For the paintings, they are rather elements of my personal life, references to people I have met, to places visited, to experiences lived that have filtered into my imagination. Quite subtle, not too direct.

At one point, I was very interested in witches through feminist and anti-nuclear gatherings, we had discussions on gynecology, how to heal with plants, nature. I want to represent powerful, determined women.

For example, my painting « Le Chantier» represents a woman destroying La Défense (the business district in Paris), a rather male world, a world of business and capitalism. At that time, I was teaching English at La Défense, I hated this place. It was kind of my revenge!

The construction yard, Lindsay Grime

The construction yard, Lindsay Grime

At one point I was quite involved politically, and I’m currently getting back into it back in Scotland. Today, I would like the feminist, ecological struggle to filter more into my work in a more or less explicit way.

Is there a phrase, quote or motto that speaks to you in your work as an artist?

There is a quote from Picasso that particularly inspired me when I was feeling more involved politically: “Art can be an offensive weapon against the enemy”. I saw it inscribed at the Guernica exhibition at the Picasso Museum and this quote spoke to me a lot.

However, I am not sure that this quote is indicative of my work. To the extent that I wish something joyful, colorful, to emerge from my work, I think especially of Emma Goldman, the 19th century American anarchist philosopher, who allegedly said this very famous phrase or something like it:

“If I can’t dance at the revolution, I won’t be part of it”

And indeed, this is a good reason to make a revolution: to dance, to be alive, to love life! Some time ago, I confided my concern to a friend, telling him: “The world is on fire and I am making linocuts. Isn’t that a little pointless? ” My friend immediately replied, “Making art is part of the world you want to see, so no, it’s not trivial!”

Fresque TEP Collage, Ménilmontant

Lindsay Grime – Mural inMénilmontant


What are your new artistic projects?

I’m starting a new comic book with Béatrice Frontanel. This is our second collaboration after a Hannah Arendt graphic biography. At the beginning we planned to work on a biography of the photographer Lee Miller for this new collaboration. I also received a grant from the CNL (Centre National du Livre) for this illustration work, but unfortunately Lee Miller’s family refused to give us the representation rights because the upcoming release of a biopic on the photographer…

So we’re going to be working on another female character, an actress whose name I can’t reveal at the moment. A very exciting project but one which remains a great challenge for me!


Lindsay Grime

Lindsay Grime

Find Lindsay Grime’s creations on Kreamondo.

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