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Louisa Marajo is a multi-media artist born in Martinique in 1987. Throughout her childhood, she often recalls painting in her father’s IT workshop located at the family home, where the verdant mountainous landscapes contrasted with the turquoise blue of the sea.
During her teenage years, she exhibited her artwork in Martinique, furthermore, after high school she was accepted into the prestigious higher education establishment of the École Supérieure d’Art et de Design, in the city of Saint Etienne, France. Louisa had specialized in science in high school, as the family had perceived this to be a sure way for her to secure her own future, however, Louisa pursued her passion and began her tertiary art education in France. After graduating, she continued to further her studies in Paris, France, which is when Louisa began to question the origins of her own family and the migratory movement of the African diaspora, where multiple identities co-exist. She desired to create a link between the arts and her own history, by deconstructing the “Western story” of her ancestral past, through how she perceived the fluid movement of people across global borders, as vast and unpredictable as the sea. This is an ongoing theme throughout the body of her work.
Louisa recalls reading a book in her father’s library entitled, “Hurricane Hugo Devastates Guadeloupe”, which contained poignant images of the catastrophic devastation of the 1989 hurricane and the ensuing ecological disaster due to human mismanagement of the environment. Over the years, the artist has been haunted by the recurrent similarities to the current migratory chaos happening globally. Two recurring and persistent questions have remained, “How do we, as western civilizations overcome the entropy that plagues us?” and “How does humanity foster hope amidst the ever-present chaos?” Louisa equates both of these aspects to the fierce intensity unleashed during an event, whether contrived by man or forced on humanity by nature, as well as the strength and stamina that occurs during the reconstruction period afterwards.
The sea is a recurring theme in her research, as it is in her work. To Louisa it represents the ability to surmount borders that have been compartmentalized and confined, subjects that have been restricted and denied, by specifically exploring how to bridge the gaps between Africa as the Motherland and the link that exists with her descendants, the inhabitants of the Caribbean. Louisa’s work plunges us into a labyrinth, where things are shaken, blended, interlaced and then transformed, rendering the status quo as forever altered and redefined. It is equally chaotic and yet it innately orderly in its own right.
Currently, Louisa divides her time working between her studios in Paris and in Martinique. She equates the transformation of her father’s former IT workshop in Martinique, which was violently destroyed due to a robbery and left abandoned for 20 years, into an artist’s studio, as a metaphor of her life and art, past, present and future coming full circle.
Exhibition review with the text by Dénètem Touam Bona – Tropiques Atrium, March 2023
Revue Point Contemporain n°18 – entretien réalisé par Valérie TOUBAS et Daniel GUIONNET
Article de Pauline Lisowski – nov 2020 :
L’oeil du lézard : Louisa Marajo – Mai 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr5hVlvV6ZI
Publication in the magazine 50/52 – october 2018