From the beginning, Kariculture followed the collaboration between Monique Montout who has been working in the plastic arts for years and Évanor Ficadière, this visual artist, graduated from the Beaux-Arts of Paris. Thanks to their talent, they decided to save our environment with art as a weapon.
Before starting two years ago this new activity in relation to used tyres, Monique Montout had already several professional activities. Indeed, Monique, who is a great lover of flowers and plants, was first a florist a few years ago. Then, she closed her shop to devote herself to handicraft : “with my son who is a carpenter, I worked with driftwood, I did a lot of things that were very much in great demand and appreciated, such as plant supports, consoles etc. I am a person who has always been in the field of plastic arts, I have also done several exhibitions, I dabble a little bit everywhere”.
Today her house in Petit-Bourg still welcomes the public because she has a garden with many species of bromeliads : “I collect these plants, people who pass by ask me to visit it”.
Many raw materials
Around the world, we know that used tyres are a scourge, and some people who are aware of the need to save the planet chose to recycle them. Monique Montout is one of them : “planters was a very good idea for the decoration of the gardens, around swimming pools…”. Working with tyres is a long and difficult job, but she did not give up. “First you have to cut, then you have to turn the tyre over, sometimes I have to ask a man to help me ; it takes an hour to do this first step in order to make a planter”, she explained.
In an island of Guadeloupe where the car is everywhere, Monique has no problem finding tyres, her raw material. “I collect them in car garages and they tell me I can take as many as I want because they’re happy to get rid of them. I choose those that are not too big or too small”.
Once the tyre is turned into a planter, another more artistic step begins. Indeed, after working alone for two years, Monique Montout wanted to innovate. She partnered with Évanor Ficadière Kariculture introduced last April.
Making new and beautiful out of old
Through the article we had devoted to him, Guadeloupean people discovered this talented visual artist, originally from Capesterre Belle-Eau, who has been living in France for about thirty years, after studying at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
“Monique contacted and told me that she makes planters with tyres and she was looking for an artist to paint them, add “local stuff”. I went home with 4 or 5 tyres for a test and when I brought the work back to her, she told me it was exactly what she wanted. Monique trusted me and since then we have been working together. It’s a new experience for me, painting on tyres is not painting on a canvas or a wall, it’s another technique. The tyre is round, you have to find the correct angles to place all the elements. And then, you had to find a paint that adheres perfectly to the tyre and lasts a long time since these planters are made to be in the sun, in the rain. It’s also an interesting project that concerns recycling so the environment : we make new out of old, we give value to old”, explained Évanor Ficadière.
Typical images from Guadeloupe
Flowers (especially hibiscus), birds (especially hummingbirds), coconut trees, sea, mountains, sun that the artist reproduces on the tyres attract the clientele. As soon as they are delivered to Monique’s house, the planters, which have become works of art, are sold like hotcakes. “Sometimes I make two deliveries a day to Monique’s house in Petit-Bourg to bring her painted planters because she has to satisfy customer demand”, said the artist.
On the occasion of Mother’s Day, Monique Montout decided to show visitors the work done with Évanor Ficadière, in her garden : “It’s been three years since I’ve done such “grandiose” things. People bought planters in pairs. A customer even told me : “I won’t put my tyre outside but in my house”. Buyers are mostly women who like plants and art, but men also tell me that they like these planters. Some visitors also told me: “I feel good in your house, we feel there is love in what you do, tonight I’ll sleep well”, she said.
A showroom with different planters
In two months, the public will be able to visit a showroom with all the models of planters that Monique Montout and Évanor Ficadière are currently making. “We can’t stay in a corner, we have to offer, make ourselves known. I’m not going to do this showroom in my garden, but elsewhere, I already have two proposals for places (…)” Monique said.
As for Evanor, he has not yet returned to France because the lockdown caused a shortage of spray paint, he had to stop a fresco he was doing at the Sarlassonne nursery school in Capesterre Belle-Eau. Today, he is finishing this commission but, even if sooner or later he has to return to his studio in Villeneuse Saint-Georges, he wants to continue to collaborate with Monique because he comes back regularly to his native island. “If this activity grows, we will need a workshop where we could produce about ten or fifteen planters a day, it’s feasible”, he thought.