The online Pool Art Fair is completed with a cycle of physical exhibitions

To make this work called "The Day Before", Patricia Lollia went to take planks from houses that had burnt down in Pointe-à-Pitre – Photo: Évelyne Chaville

Patricia Lollia and Agnès Djafri & Khad are the artists who are taking part in the second exhibition of this series, which is being held at the café gallery, Art Ruche, in Pointe-à-Pitre, from October 15 to 21.

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From October 9 to 11, the Pool Art Fair Guadeloupe took place online, the digitalisation of this great contemporary art fair is the consequence of the Covid-19 epidemic in the archipelago, as in many other places in the world. In order to complete this virtual exhibition in 3D, the organizer, the association Frère Independent, also proposed to the thirty or so exhibiting artists to show their works physically in its café gallery located at 6, Quai Layrle, in La Darse district in Pointe-à-Pitre. Not all of them accepted but several will follow one another in this space and the public will be able to rediscover many creations already seen behind its screens. Initially, until December, a pair of artists will exhibit every week (except Saturday and Sunday). Astrid Billy and Adly inaugurated this cycle of exhibitions from October 8 to 14. We went to the second exhibition, from October 15 to 21, featuring the works by Patricia Lollia and Agnès Djafry & Khad.

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Natural materials on display

Patricia Lollia, who was present during our report, took pleasure in presenting each of her eight works to the visitors, even if they were accompanied by written explanations, and in answering their questions. If two of them – Bèt a Man Ibè and Mofwazé – had already participated in the event in June 2019, the other six are new: The Day Before and The Day After respectively represent lockdown and lockdown end ; L’Homme au Bâton and Lagyablès are inspired by our tales and legends ; Homo Erectus is a nod to the fabulous history of the human species ; Soledad embodies a female warrior for Freedom.

“I work with natural materials such as driftwood that I collect on the beaches, this wood remained for a long time in the sea and does not need any chemical treatment ; there are also coconuts, seeds, string, etc. To make “The Day Before”, I went to take planks from houses that had burnt down in Pointe-à-Pitre and the faces in this work (like “The Day After”), are destructured, it brings to mind Picasso who is one of my favourite painters. “Soledad” is the only painting I present, it is in 3D with this necklace (…) The most used colours are blue, yellow and red and my motifs are personal even if I am inspired by African and Amerindian motifs”, the artist explained at length.

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Agnès Djafri

Visiting our inner world

At the back of this space are exhibited about ten paintings by painter Agnès Djafri and her daughter Khad. The shades of blue – even if other colours such as orange, yellow and green are also used – catch the eye of visitors. The figures depicted are generally naked and seem to celebrate life. These works do not have a name, this is a choice the two artists made. Agnès Djafri later explained to us her artistic approach and that of Khad.

“This four-handed exhibition with Khad, my daughter, is called “Portes sur l’Ailleurs”. With four hands because she is ambidextrous and I use my left hand as a palette. We propose a vision of our inner world. Like a path to follow for the spectator. Our very intimate collaboration seemed obvious to us at a time of lockdown, confinement, distancing… A bit like a mockery. Many people turned to their long ignored or abandoned gardens. Some also visited their inner gardens, where we opened a door”, explained the painter who, like many artists including her daughter, expressed her emotions through her works during this unprecedented moment.

Public exhibition venues are rare now in Pointe-à-Pitre, do not hesitate to go to the Art Ruche to discover the works for free and meet the artists, respecting barrier gestures.