I spy with my little eye... a coffee with the very parisian gallery director Celia Nkala.

How can I introduce you to Celia? She's already had 2 or 3 lives despite her young age and she is the only one who can make me drink wine before 3pm. I met her a few years ago during my fashion years in Paris. We nearly passed by each other without really meeting until that day she talked about her photography. From then we've specialised in the weirdest dates ever (remember this very special post?), and she surprises me everyday. She is fierce, chic and rock'n roll, the essence of the Parisian, you can never get bored with her. But she's also a quiet hard worker who opened her very own art gallery: Perception Park. I was very happy and honoured when she agreed to play the HOB interview game.
If you are in the 5th arrondissement in Paris, don't forget to pass by Perception Park, 20 rue Domat, it's open from 2pm till 7pm or upon request: +33 9 80 73 53 43.

HOB: If you could live in a painting, which one would it be?
C. N.: La Scène, from Leonardo de Vinci. I like its structure, it's supple and linear at the same time. I would have loved to meet the Christ, be there the first time he took communion: it would have probably turned me into one of the apostles.

HOB: If you could live in a different era, which one would you pick and why?
C.N.: The 18th french century: the Age of Enlightenment. For the aesthetics: the arts, the fashion, the style in general and for the move towards knowledge, joined with a certain form of decadence. It was the century when everything was possible and all fields were bubbling up.
But it was violent, you had to be in the tight place... More than an era, it's always a question of position. So the 21st century and my position suit me very well!

HOB: What piece of clothing reminds you of your mother?
C.N.: My parents are completely impervious to fashion. They didn't wear anything memorable. I sharpened my eye and built my style without any family reference. I started by creating textiles, then I worked in fashion, with the idea that all of that was nothing too serious. This specific idea comes from my parents.

HOB: What scent takes you right back to your childhood?
C.N.: The smells of garages, cellars, basements, that is to say, the smell of petrol, humidity, enclosed spaces. It reminds me of my grand-father's garage where I have a feeling I spent a lot of time playing as a child, his wine cellar where I used to hide. The birthday parties and first teenage parties: back then we used to do that in our parents garages.

HOB: When do you feel on holiday?
C.N.: When I finished everything I had to do.

HOB: What designer would you take with you on a camel ride?
C.N.: None. It's incompatible. I would go on my own, wearing nothing.

HOB: Your favourite recipe to make?
C.N.: I'm sorry, I hate cooking.

HOB: Best piece of advice you were ever given?
C.N.: People always give a lot of advice, but they also say a lot of stupid things.

HOB: What book changed your life?
C.N.: "The power of intention" by Dr. Wayne W. Dyder.
It's a book that explain how one can realise whatever they want by connecting with universal intelligence. Or more precisely how to use intention as a personal potential. It is badly written but very effective.

HOB: The movie you've watched already 30 times but might watch again tonight?
C.N.: "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". Or any western with Clint Eastwood: the only kind of movie that guarantees me a good night of sleep.

HOB: Your three favourite spots in Paris.
C.N.: 1. The Seine bank, around the Ile de la Cite and the Ile Saint Louis, just by my gallery. With a huge take away margarita from Mexic&Co, rue Dante.
2. The restaurant Richelieu, in the Louvre museum. A spot that isn't easy to access because you need to get your museum pass first, then walk all the way through the French sculpture gallery, but it's empty most of the time with huge windows that open on the square courtyard.
3. Minéral do Brasil. A gemstones and minerals shop rue Miromesnil. It's a shop without any window with a very peculiar ambiance. People usually come there for alternative medicine or feng-shui... I'm interested in all of that but I mostly go there for the beauty of the stones, I've been collecting them for years.


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