As an artist, you may not be familiar with her work, but chances are you have worn a fragrance or used a cosmetic product bearing her family name!
Marie Guerlain is a sixth generation descendent of the legendary Guerlain perfume and cosmetics dynasty. Having studied fine art at the prestigious Parsons School of Design, Marie is now settled in London, where she is juggling her art with motherhood and her humanitarian pursuits. A gentle soul by nature, Marie has that rare fragile quality that you can’t help but instantly warm to. You are drawn to her down-to-earth demeanour, a trait which belies the determination of a woman who clearly knows what she wants out of life. The passion with which she speaks of matters close to her heart, and the warmth of her personality, shine through immediately and endear her to you even more.
Art is Marie’s first passion in life. “I’ve always wanted to be an artist ever since I could hold a pencil. And when I left art school, I immediately began working as a professional artist” says the surrealist painter, who counts Picasso, Matisse and Frida Kahlo amongst her heroes. And it is with her art that Marie is looking to involve and inspire others through the humanitarian causes she is involved with, namely Innocence in Danger, a children’s charity which is already established in many countries worldwide. For the past few years, Marie has been busy in her Chelsea studio producing paintings for future exhibitions. As well as these, Marie is using her
celebrity name to raise much needed funds and awareness for the IID, which will no doubt bring her to the public consciousness even more.
As Chairman of the UK arm of Innocence in Danger, Marie is actively involved in the setting up and running of the operation in the UK; which helps rehabilitate sexually
abused children using art therapy. “Innocence in Danger is an organisation that operates in 29 countries. Our aim is to protect children against all forms of sexual exploitation which includes child trafficking, paedophilia and child images of sexual abuse on the internet. I chose to work with this organisation because it’s something I felt a real connection with.”
The charity works closely with the families of abused children, as well as leading
psychologists, doctors and artists to provide a support structure in a trusted and safe environment. Creative therapies like art, drama and music are used to aid with the healing process of affected children. “As a mother it is deeply upsetting to know that there are approximately 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys being sexually abused before the age of 16. I have a strong urge inside me to help affected children recover from their experiences.”
The charity is already getting a lot of attention including the backing of luxury jewellers Adler, which is holding a two-week exhibition of her art in their Bond Street shop in February. Expect to see more of Marie; the Guerlain girl who’s calling in life is perhaps a lot more than just skin deep…