Art is an essential tool to bring people together. That's why we did Les Gens Heureux. It was the primary mission of it and the aspect of art I'm in general the most interested in. I get a lot of energy from being with other people.Spending time with other humans makes you grow because you exchange views, build each other up, and educate each other in all aspects via human interactions.
Your next pivotal moment would be founding Les Gens Heureux, a gallery that became quite the CPH it-spot. Tell me how that all came about.
During my year in London, I was introduced to the Soho House concept from the very early stages of the original house in Greek Street. Since then, I always dreamt of Soho House opening in Copenhagen. In 2012, Sanne Frank, an art director I'd met via work, and I decided to take matters into our own hands. We found this incredible apartment on the 5th floor of a beautiful building and thought it was the perfect space for creatives to meet, work, and get inspired. For the opening party, we wanted to invite all our, business partners, family and friends, and Sanne had the brilliant idea of doing an art exhibition as well. It was incredibly well received, and it evolved into an actual art gallery from there on.
Sanne is the brain behind the Noma brand name, which she invented out of the abbreviation of Nordisk Mad. Our gallery name, Les Gens Heureux, meaning The Happy People, came out of our fondness for anything French, and the apartment had a palpable French feel. There was just such a unique vibe in that space that made us and everyone else so happy. With that said, it's supposed to be a little twinkle-in-the-eye-like.
ANNELI IS WEARING LEONA DRESS SWIMMINGPOOL
What's a big lesson you've learned in life?
To always be true to yourself. Part of me has always been a people-pleaser, but I'm working on finding a balance between being true to myself and making people feel appreciated.
This series of interviews is called Women Who Inspire. Who are some women who have inspired you, both in the past and the present?
Firstly, I'd like to mention our queen. I think she's a strong, inspiring, curious woman with an intelligent approach to her role and work. I believe she's succeeded in keeping her integrity and always staying professional. I also, of course, appreciate her artistic side.
And secondly, my daughter Yasmin Lyon. She graduated from the Rietveld Academy last year with a degree in Architectural Design. Yasmin is a great inspiration to me in how she approaches life. She is a very calm and thoughtful person with a good sense of humor. From an early age, she seems to have learned to stay true to herself. Through her work, she travels a lot, and I often lean on her to find new inspiration for art, design, and everything else.
After 5 years of Les Gens Heureux in a fixed location, you sold the gallery space, but it still lives on as a pop-up. What's the status today?
A few years back, I started to feel that I wanted more freedom and to still showcase great art, but perhaps in a more flexible way. Doing pop-ups was the perfect middle ground. These days, my main focus is Peter Shire, an artist from Echo Park in Los Angeles who creates playful ceramics in his studio. I represent him in Europe, which takes up most of my time. We have an ongoing pop-up in Geneva, we just launched the new collection at a retailer in Copenhagen, and are just about to do another pop-up in Paris, so it's pretty busy!