At the end of last year, Guadeloupean artist, Jérôme Sainte-Luce, participated in an artist residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. It was a very enriching experience for the resident of the town of Trois-Rivières on all levels. He tells about it in this interview.
Kariculture : When did you take part in this artist residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts?
Jérôme Sainte-Luce : I participated in the 2022 session of the residency from October 03 to December 26, 2022.
Kariculture : Why did you choose this artist residency in France? There are residencies in Guadeloupe…
J. S.-L. : I had first chosen to apply for this residency because it presented a favorable duration to develop a long project: 3 months. In addition, I had some opportunities in Europe to explore and being there was also positive.
Kariculture : Who organized this artist residency? Was there a selection of candidates? What were the criteria?
J. S.-L. : This artist residency is supported by the Directorate of Cultural Affairs (DAC) of Guadeloupe. There is a selection of candidates following the submitted file. The selection criteria are to propose a relevant artistic or research project according to the selection committee. For my part, my project focused on my favorite theme, namely petroglyphs, fossils, rock figures, myths, the instinctive dimension in art… The aim was to identify archaeologists, historians and obviously artists, art critics, curators to deepen and enrich my artistic work.
Kariculture : Once you arrived in Paris, how did it go? Can you, for example, tell us about your daytime activities?
J. S.-L. : My experience at the beginning of the residency went very well, the reception and the team of the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris are dynamic and do their best to answer the different questions related to the place of residence, the accommodation, the workshop, multiple on-site events and workshops, etc. My days consisted of different meetings with artists, archaeologists, gallery owners or visits to exhibitions… The evenings were generally dedicated to different openings and meetings and especially to creation in my studio. My habits have hardly changed since I tend to create in the middle of the night, whether in Guadeloupe, Martinique or Paris. A few key moments of my experience stand out, such as the preparation and realization of an “open-studio” at the end of the residency as well as a collective exhibition in Zurich (Switzerland) with some pieces created during the residency in Paris.
Kariculture : Who provided you with the material to paint, to produce works?
J. S.-L. : Thanks to a grant given during the residency, I was able to buy art materials, to invest in certain materials in order to explore new things.
Kariculture : Which artists did you meet during your stay? Were there any exchanges between artists during these three months?
J. S.-L. : I met many artists, especially from Cameroon, Polynesia and Tunisia. I was also able to rediscover (and collaborate with) some artists whose artistic work I already knew. This residency allows me to discover artists but also, according to affinities, to initiate collaborations, the duration of the residency allows that.
Kariculture : Were all the conditions met to produce? How many works did you produce? Are you satisfied with your artistic work?
J. S.-L. : For my part, all the conditions were met to produce: the synergy of the place, the artistic dynamism of the city, namely that, every day, I could visit or discover a gallery, a fair, or a festival in several fields of art. In my opinion, all of this promotes creative energy insofar as my approaches were focused on my sensibility. In conclusion, I am very satisfied with this residency.
Kariculture : At the end of this residency, there was a kind of restitution of the work done by an “open day”, can you tell us about it?
J. S.-L. : There is no obligation to present a restitution at the end of the residency, it all depends on the object of the residency. For me, the option of an “open-studio” was suggested. It was an opportunity to present part of my creations to different audiences, to talk about myself and to meet art critics, journalists, colleagues in another space, etc. Very good experience!
Kariculture : What did this residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts bring you for your career as a painter?
J. S.-L. : This residency brought me connections and opportunities for collaborations and exhibitions in other countries, especially in Ivory Coast. Through my research, encounters and discoveries, I was able to hopefully gain a greater vision of the profession.
Kariculture : Would you advise artists to live this experience?
J. S.-L. : I would advise artists to have this experience, if they have the possibility to do a residency for 3 months or more in another setting.