Maureen Colomar, has been working as an artist and illustrator since 2014 predominantly working around themes such as minerals and space she is inspired by the landscape of her travels.
“When I go somewhere, when I travel or take a walk, I take pictures I pick up small stones, small objects. It can become the starting point for a project.” – Maureen
Chapter 2 _ ESPACES
_Talking with Maureen Colomar
Il y a quelque temps, j’ai eu l’occasion d’échanger avec Maureen Colomar. J’ai pu découvrir son histoire et comprendre à travers elle son univers créatif.
Découvrir les espaces dans lesquels ont pu évoluer les artistes nous apprendre à appréhender leur travail dans une nouvelle dimension. Celle du temps, de l’espace.
Tout comme on apprend beaucoup des personnes en découvrant comment elles vivent, habitent, on en découvre tout autant en observant leur espace de travail. Petits espaces, grands espaces… L’influence de l’espace sur le travail final est visible dans le travail de Maureen, tout autant dans son histoire que dans son processus créatif. Investir l’espace, forcer le visiteur à la découverte et l’exploration.
Translate from french by @lively_studio_
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
“ I come from Reunion Island, I arrived there very young and left when I was 22. I am now 37 years old live in Lyon, France.
My education in banking / insurance has nothing to do with what I do today. I have always had an artistic spirit and the desire to draw since I was a child, yet I never had the opportunity to flourish in it.
Coming back from a trip to the USA, I applied to several schools and was accepted in the fine arts of Besançon” and that’s where my life began.
Let’s say I was born a second time. I spent five absolutely brilliant years with great teachers, an openness to a lot of things and where I experimented a lot in a very broad way by drawing everywhere, on the walls, photocopying … “
Why fine arts more than any other creative path?
“It’s a bit of a coincidence. In junior high I did a private art workshop, where I was surrounded by art books and easels, it smelled like oil painting …
That’s where I said to myself: I feel good and it’s for me.”
How do you invest in a space as small as a sheet of paper or as large as whole wall?
“After a while, I feel stuck by the edges of the paper sheet, and I need the drawing to fly off it.”
“When I work on my projects, I start with small formats. I make lots of them, mix them up … and I create a mise en abîme:
I am creating pieces that will vary in formats so that the viewer understands that this drawing is an enlargement of that one, each drawing leads to another and the format evolves. A bit like ‘Alice in Wonderland’, I try to offer a front door with small formats and the viewer enters, and the more it goes, the more immersed it is.
I like to work with the architecture of a place, for an exhibition.
It’s like a sheet of paper that has no limits.
But there has to be a dialogue between the paper and the wall format.”
How are collaborations created and how do they help you develop?
“I made those collaborations with school friends, we are interested in each other’s work and offer to share an exhibition or a project. Pauline Repussard who first contacted us, does sculpture, Mathieu Brethes makes digital works and I work with drawings.
Those three very different disciplines made it possible to give more meaning to a problem.
We talk about light, space, the landscape in totally different ways and we reflect on the work of one another”
What is the starting point for your projects?
“When I go somewhere, when I travel or take a walk, I take pictures I pick up small stones, small objects. It can become the starting point for a project.
There are always links with what I have seen before, as if there were links between each walk, rocks, colors.”
What messages are you trying to transmit with your art?
“It’s about looking at things. Value what is not important. What is tiny will become immersive, what is very large will become very small, what is anecdotal will become the main object: to change the way we look at the world with objects.”
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
“The core of my creation is my experience in La Reunion. Being immersed from birth in a place with very intense landscapes, it influenced my work.
I have done two residences in Iceland and since I went there, my work is not the same at all.
There are some common points with La Reunion, through the intensity, the strength of the wild nature, the colors, the volcanic rock, the light, the vegetation … the fact that they are both volcanic islands.”
What would you like to learn or explore further?
“To write well. To put more words on what I can do or live, it could be another starting point for a project.
I would love to learn how to make short animation films, to set my drawings in motion.“
How do you invest your workspace? What does it look like?
» I have a small desk with a computer, behind, my book shelf : I surround myself with books, I read a lot and a little bit every day.
Hence the importance of creating small formats at the start because I don’t have more space than that.
This small workshop space at home suits me very well. It’s a little cocoon, I’m not scattered and I know where things are, a little bubble but I feel good there and occasionally when I need a bigger space, I try to find one. Since being in residence I have more space to work on large formats. «
Can you give me…
…A « space » in which you feel most comfortable?
» Here in my studio, this is where I am in my head and where I feel best
When I lived in Brussels, I went to cafes a lot to read and draw. I had a lot of ideas coming to these places. I saw people experience the world and I was forced to focus and reflect on what I was doing. Always small confined spaces. «
…A place where you feel inspired?
» In Iceland, where I did two residences. I was isolated from everything in a lost village, far from it all. Right in the heart of the wilderness and this is where I was most inspired. «
…An important “space” in your creative mythology ?
» La Reunion, even if I don’t talk about it in my work at the moment, there are the rocks, the geology… It is unconscious, but it is there. Looking at volcanoes, colors, rocks, I talk about it subconsciously, but it’s always present. «
…An inspiration around this theme of “spaces”?
» The films of Michelangelo Antonioni: Zabriskie Point
or Gus Van Sant Gerry (film, 2002). Those films where the landscape, the space, is no longer a setting, it is a character on its own. A protagonist who really acts in the storytelling.
Also works by James Turell, an artist who works with lights. The rooms are empty but he makes the spaces full. The void becomes oppressive.
I try to envision the landscape in this way, as a kind of entity, it is not the frame that moves, it is the landscape, colors form spaces and landscape and are in symbiosis with the body.
A space with which we can make links between our past, objects, back and forth between our references and what is around us, what space gives us. «
What soundtrack would you define if your drawings if they were movies?
‘’ The music of Hans Zimmer speaks to me a lot, like the original soundtrack of « Interstelar »
Not to mention the film story, when we listen to this music we feel completely elsewhere and there is something of this order in the artwork I do.
I asked my brother who knows my work well to give me an Arcade Fire song from the original soundtrack of « Her », he chose ‘Supersymetry’ halfway between calm and dynamic. ‘’