Guilaine Arts, a French, self-taught visual artist based in the UK, is originally from Guadeloupe.
Born into a family where music and crafts were at the epicentre, she has been imbued from an early age with artistic influences that nourish her inspiration. She uses her emotions, what she has learnt over time and her self-discovery as the catalyst for her art. Since the beginning of her artistic career, Guilaine’s main concern has been to defend the black women who have been stigmatised and marginalized. Aware of the identity-related suffering that black women experience, the artist, through her art, seeks to reinvent norms that would allow them to reappropriate their power. As victims of the ideological codes of an exclusionary society, these women live with contempt for themselves which, in turn, generate traumas that further develop into intergenerational legacies. By reappropriating their personal identity these women could finally enjoy a psychological freedom that has been hindered for too long.
The art created by the masters of the Renaissance has always fascinated Guilaine due to the compositions and further technical work. However, due to the primary depiction of the white male and its representation of the patriarchy where the ideal woman was subordinate to her male counterpart and conformed to the Eurocentric standards of beauty, she felt unable to identify with it. Her message is not only to reconstruct this “ideal” but also to awaken these women’s minds, bringing them towards an awakening that will further contribute to their emancipation.
The black women depicted within her art, carry the memory of her ancestors’ teachings on ways in which to heal oneself and promote self-love. The approach that Guilaine takes towards her artwork is closely linked to her Afro-Caribbean origins. The ethereal creations which she depicts on the canvas are synonymous with cultural acceptance which she has struggled with.
Guilaine believes that the true way to heal yourself lays within. The elements within each piece are meant to not only empower, but also to provoke a form of reflection and conversation that can relate to others. The figures within her work, when combined with the bright colours, represent the dissociation of the human mind with the surrounding world when one truly connects with their emotions. The resulting representation is a world of feminine power that largely transcends the canvas in two dimensions.
In order to bring to light the ethereal depth within her work, as an expression of her inner thoughts and feelings, Guilaine adds a luminescent glow to the skin which brings a unique balance to the composition through the contrast that it has to the background, allowing her to introduce various blends of textures on the canvas. Through the composition, the artist manages to create an image of the fluctuations of contemporary society. Guilaine draws energy from her life as a woman of colour, which she then transmits through her work. Her figures embody something in all of us. They serve as conduit to an inner struggle within our society which the artist depicts through her use of abstract art. Guilaine believes that art is and always will be to encourage communities to engage critically with each other in order to move towards social inclusion and empowerment.
Guilaine’s art has been showcased in exhibitions such as Collision of art in London, TEAM annual exhibition in Coventry, Roots Culture identity art exhibition at Congress House in London, NUT convention/exhibition in Birmingham, outdoor exhibition in Pennsylvania USA, Confinement 2.0 online exhibition. She has also exhibited at Jonaquest Art Gallery in London.