From March 4 to 11, the Centre Culturel Rémy Nainsouta in Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe) hosted a painting exhibition proposed by Évanor Ficadière. This artist, who is a former student of the Centre des Métiers d’Art in Pointe-à-Pitre and graduated from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, is from Capesterre Belle-Eau but lives in France. He is part of this generation of painters and visual artists. “appeared” about thirty years ago in the archipelago.
In the opinion of many visitors, the week-long painting exhibition by Évanor Ficadière was too short, but it was a feast for the eyes. Through 36 colourful figurative and abstract paintings, the painter notably walked the audience in the rural Guadeloupe with several scenes from the local way of life such as the banana carrier, the mother who is styling the hair of her daughter surely in front of a hut, the cane cutter, the old sugar factory of Marquisat, merchants, the ka player (tanbouyé) etc. Materials like miniature ka drums and metal chains have been added to many of his creations.
“I met an audience who likes colors, folklore, traditions, who talks a lot about Guadeloupe, who likes “local” topics, sometimes I saw people from France who were even more “local” that ourselves, like this man who said to me in Creole “mwen enmé vwè ti banann-la” (I like to see these little bananas) while looking at one of my paintings”, said Évanor Ficadière smiling when we met him on the last day of his exhibition at the Centre Cultural Rémy Nainsouta in Pointe-à-Pitre.
A graduate of Fine Arts in Paris
This “Capesterian” by birth who loves Dali, Magritte and Kandinsky and defines himself as a “visual artist” is one of those artists who “appeared” in Guadeloupe, about thirty years ago at a time when painting was not considered a real job.
“I was educated at the Centre des Métiers d’Art in Pointe-à-Pitre. At that time, a well-known astrologer here, Patricia Rey, was looking for a painter to draw animals of Creole astrology and I started to work with her. When she decided to return to Paris, she offered to come with her and there, I will continue to draw for her and in return, I will have a room for free and I will prepare for entrance examinations to art schools. I accepted, I was staying at Porte de la Muette in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. I was able to prepare for exams by taking courses in the 13th arrondissement to update my knowledge in art, what I had learned at the CMA in Guadeloupe had become “obsolete”. Then I joined the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts and after three years of study, I got my degree in fine arts”, he told.
A varied artistic career
In addition, Évanor Ficadière attended the École en Communication Graphique (ECG) and the Cours Privé d’Art Graphique Publicitaire (COPAG) which is the school of graphic design for future image professionals.
Being versatile, the young artist who stayed to live in France worked as a graphic designer to earn a living but he never forgot his brushes and participated in various exhibitions.
About five years ago, the one who painted and drew from childhood – “with a very developed sense of observation”, he said – decided to devote more time to his artistic career. “As I so often exhibited, I realized that visitors enjoyed my paintings. Today, I have my studio which is located in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges above the restaurant “Créole Avenue”, it’s a pretty big place, a place for creation where I spend much time. Besides, I have to finish works when I come back… I’m more and more interested in street art. I give drawing and painting classes. I also belong to three artists’ associations who give work to members such as painting for a local authority (municipality or others) or an individual, participating in exhibitions, competitions etc.”, he explained.
Winner of several competitions
The artist participated in several competitions and his work was recognized by the audience and his peers. His first prize, “Les Étoiles de la Peinture”, he got it in 1989 in Guadeloupe. There will also be victories in France with: the “Prix du public – Les Dimanches des Peintres” (1999); the “Prix Pouilly le Fort” (2003); the “Prix du Salon de la Chapelle Gauthier” (2016); the “Prix du Conseil Départemental” (2016) at the Salon d’Automne in Villeneuve Saint-Georges; the “Prix du Mérite” (2017) during the Salon de Novembre in Villeneuve Saint-Georges…
His works are exhibited in renowned galleries in Barbizon, Fontainebleau (Galerie du Nouveau Monde) etc. “But I also remain a graphic designer, a layout artist, an animal artist and a musician”, he said.
Little by little, Évanor Ficadière began to make himself known in his native island he left at the age of 19 So in August 2019, as part of the patronal feast, he participated in the 2nd edition of the “CapesArt” exhibition at the Municipal office of culture and sport (OMCS) in Capesterre Belle-Eau. In addition, he made a fresco in the school canteen of the town. His exhibition at the Centre Culturel Rémy Nainsouta was also part of this “reconquest” of the Guadeloupean public.
Having started a family in France, Évanor Ficadière’s dream would be to come more regularly to Guadeloupe to take part in artistic events. He has just signed up for the 11th edition of the “Pool Art Fair Guadeloupe” scheduled for next June unless it is cancelled because of the global epidemic of Covid-19… The exhibition he was to take part in during April in Morocco (a country he knows) was cancelled for the same reason.
The visual artist could not reach France at the end of March, he is currently confined to his mother’s home in Capesterre Belle-Eau. A special stay in the country that should inspire him a lot…