Mural Art Festival has just wrapped up its second edition in Fort–de–France, the capital of Martinique, an overseas department of France located in the Caribbean. Despite the pandemic chaos the festival ran from November 26 to December 2020.
The theme this year was “Humans and the Caribbean Sea”, drawing inspiration from culture, the relationship with nature, the concepts of diversity and collaboration, biodiversity and multiculturalism. The sea is put in the spotlight to re-enchant everyday life, but also to enhance it and above all to protect it.
Six artists took up the challenge using only brushes and acrylic paint to enrich the local cultural life, to engage a dialogue between communities through urban art, to improve living environments, raising awareness of environmental issues and improving accessibility to art while producing an eco-responsible event.
Veks Van Hillik work is based on a surrealist and strange vision; the bizarre or the grotesque sometimes rub shoulders with certain poetry where nature and the animal world are very often vectors of this vision. Veks Van Hillik depicts an inner world populated by hybrid, chimeric, dreamlike creatures, sometimes strange, sometimes captivating.
“I want to integrate my character as naturally as possible into the existing decor so that it is in symbiosis with the environment. In addition to integrating myself into the place, I create as soon as possible an interaction with the inhabitants. The human being is essential for me… I like the idea of making my totally imaginary character “live” in our real life so that the passer-by meets him, recognizes him and inspires an emotion, a feeling. I want to create this dialogue and capture the reaction of the spectators to my character. I like this direct relationship with the audience.” Vinie Graffiti
Vinie’s character playfully interacts with a turtle …
Murmure Street is a duo of French street artists composed of Paul Ressencourt and Simon Roché, who have been working in the streets since 2010. Their main objective is to create playful, dreamlike and poetic artworks that interact with the urban environment in which they are located. Even if there is always a message conveyed and thought by the artists, their works leave room for interpretation according to the urban context in which it is installed. Murmure street aims for a surrealist rendering that makes its graphic signature unique.
Within the framework of the festival and its theme, Loraine Motti created a water landscape in the surrealist style that characterizes her, paying homage through it to the specific geography of Martinique and its underwater flora.
The mural of Bahbou Floro warns, among other things, against the great threat to our coral reefs.
“Nature, as well as the symbolically charged Creole language, are my sources of inspiration through drawing. It is in this approach that Manman Chadwon, an Afro-Caribbean deity (sea urchin woman), inspired by the Manman Dlo of the West Indies, goddess of the oceans, was born. The deity decorated with sea urchin spines blows in a conch of lambi, surrounded by fish (trunkfish, punctuated knight). The lambi conch was used to announce an event (death, birth…). Here it is abundance. The marine world and the terrestrial world intermingle under the protection of the full moons. A mystical, magical and dreamlike universe, taken from the tales and legends of the Caribbean is created.” Gwladys Gambie
Gambi’s mural was based around an Afro-Caribbean deity (sea urchin woman)…
The festival is produced by Milmurs with the support of the cultural department of the local authorities, the city of Fort-de-France, the « Parc naturel marin de la Martinique » and private partners.