Thursday 11 January 2024

Micro-interview with Cécile Matthey

We’re joined again by TFF team member and old friend Cécile Matthey, artist of “Microseasons of the Dead” in The Future Fire #67.

Art © 2024 Cécile Matthey

TFF: How did you go about illustrating “Microseasons of the Dead”?

Cécile Matthey: I’ve been wishing to combine illustration and collage for a long time, and this is my first attempt! The concept of micro-seasons comes from Japan, so naturally I explored Japanese art for inspiration. I came across a beautiful19th-century drawing, showing a large wave. I decomposed it and used it as a frame around the hands full of stones, to evoke the river of the dead but also the cycle they have to go through, again and again.

TFF: Where is the place, physical or metaphorical, where you feel “at home”?

CM: I've always felt at home in libraries. I grew up surrounded by books, and I’ve always loved reading. What's more, they’re places where there's peace and quiet, which helps recharge my batteries. At school, going to the library was also a refuge. It was the only place where the other kids would leave me alone!

TFF: What is your favourite example of hopeful or fun speculative fiction (in any medium)?

CM: Terry Pratchett's Discworld and James Gurney's illustrations are my favourites. Otherwise, I've just started reading Toshikazu Kawaguchi's book Before the Coffee Gets Cold. It features a very special café, where customers can travel back in time, enjoying a cup of coffee. But there are rules to this journey: it won't change the present, and it lasts as long as the coffee is still hot. It sounds interesting! ;-)

TFF: Tell us about an artist whose work you're particularly enjoying at the moment?

CM: Visiting Neuchâtel's Museum of Natural History recently, I discovered the works by Philip Maire, a local artist who paints prehistoric animals on canvases he has collected at flea markets. It’s clever and fun.  Example below (my photo), and see more of his work at:

Reminder: You can comment on any of the writing or art in this issue at

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