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Nature & Light

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  • Exhibitions
  • 1 February - 23 February 10:00AM till 4:00PM
  • Cittadella Centre for Culture and the Arts, St Ursula Hall.

This exhibit in Victoria is a reflection on the emotions felt over the artist’s different stays on Gozo.

About the Artist:
Beauty will save the world. Thank you for your beauty said a 20-year-old Russian girl to Colette Marchant during an exhibition at the art gallery in Cittadella, Gozo two years ago. Colette Marchant is again currently exhibiting her paintings at the Cittadella.

This art gallery is old, beautiful and well preserved. Collette says that it is a wonderful place to exhibit in due to its space and light. Moreover, the old limestone walls make an ideal contrast with her paintings.

Colette Marchant gets her inspiration from the love she has for nature with its shades and light. She lives in a little house in the country side close to St Paul de Vence – a picturesque ancient French town which has been attracting renowned artists since the early 20th century up to the present. However, her house is completely isolated from the rest of the world and is surrounded by nature, with donkeys and cats as her pets.

Colette absorbs what she sees in nature – the elements, beauty, colours, shades and light. All these, together with her inner feelings, thoughts and emotions of joy and sadness are processed and expressed on canvas. When she paints she is completely absorbed in what she does and does not know what is happening around her. She mentally and emotionally enters another state and is in a kind of trance where only she, her paints and canvas exist. I go in a terrible and crazy state and don’t even know that I’m alive.

It is only when she stops and looks, she sees what was happening inside her while she was painting. She finds out what the painting is when she finishes it. You can enter the art and just let your mind go. It is like going on a journey and it is also the best therapy.

What ends up on canvas is the result of this process. Art is a form of expression. It is a way of making the intangible abstraction inside the artist turn into a tangible form that can be seen, smelt and touched. However, in Colette’s case, it is still abstract and therefore understood according to the viewer’s perception. Some things cannot be expressed in words because words can be limiting, but they can be expressed in art. This is the way Colette Marchant expresses herself best. This is her reality.

She does not always title her work because she does not want to summarise it with a title thus limiting it to one specific idea.

Colette takes nature to a different direction and a different space. Just as she is looking for the light in her own life, she wants to give the light through her paintings to her viewers. In fact, she has been told many times during her exhibitions that her paintings emanate a feeling of serenity.

The mesmerising depth, colour and space in her paintings invite the viewer to enter a dream or another dimension, to step inside and enjoy the experience. The paintings are an invitation to discover beauty and light. They have a mystical and timeless quality. Colette does not offer a message and meaning to her paintings, but leaves this to the viewer to find out.

When I asked Colette what art means to her she replied – I cannot live without art. I feel a great need and urge to paint. The best part of everything for her is when she is painting. The rest is a bit fuzzy. She says that she always has a little sadness inside her and it is this that brings about her need to paint, because painting alleviates this sadness.

Her art has been an evolution for her. She has gone through stages of growth and her work gradually changed and reached the stage where it is today. I am very much influenced by the Impressionists. However, my paintings are very different to that of the Impressionists. They are my own style. When you are creating art you believe in your art and you don’t look at what is being painted because it doesn’t matter.

I always think about painting, it is always present. I dream about it. There is always something that needs to be released, something that is fermenting and getting ready to come out.

However, although she has several ideas constantly whirling in her head, when she faces the blank canvas she never has a preconceived idea of what she is going to paint. She never knows what the end result will be, but just goes with the flow of colours, contours and curves.

Colette Marchant only paints in oils. She uses her fingers’ tips when she paints as this gives her direct contact with the painting she is creating. She sees the paint brush and other tools as hindering this direct contact. She does not mix paint on a palette but the canvas is her palette as she paints with pure saturated colours directly from the tube. Colette says that she prefers to paint large paintings because she has more freedom and space to work

Although Colette has exhibited many times in France, she is also very happy to exhibit in Gozo, where locals stop to speak to her whether they know her or not. It is her sensitivity to everything around her that attracts people to her and it is also this same sensitivity that enables her to create beautiful captivating paintings.

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