Jacinthe Lamontagne-Lecomte is a familiar name on the Doha arts circuit. FACT caught up with the lady herself to talk about her brand new showcase of work which was recently on display at The Bridge, InterContinental Doha The City…
Tell us more about the exhibition What Gandhi Says – what did visitors see?
What Gandhi Says was about loving people like they are and accepting the difference. It’s an exhibition according to Gandhi’s maxim: I don’t see anything – See No Evil; I don’t hear anything – Hear No Evil; I don’t say a thing – Speak No Evil. What Gandhi Says was 13 canvases that took about a year of preparation. I wanted to do something different than Made In Asia, my permanent exhibition at Hwang restaurant in the Intercontinental Doha The City hotel. I wanted to find a way to introduce different faces than Asian faces by still doing photo-transfer, mixed media.
It was like a challenge for me since my inspiration is almost all connected with Asia. In order to be able to do so, I had to photograph people I love, people who were able to express some feelings with their face. This time, and for the first time, this exhibition represents only people I know. And it isn’t easy to express on canvases, play with colours and collage when the face you have in front of you is someone you know, because you never know if that person will love the interpretation you will do of them. For the title, and since there were so many feelings around the expo, What Gandhi Says was just right for it!
What are you hoping that visitors took away with them, in terms of perceptions and ideas, from this exhibition?
The message I wanted to drive through this solo exhibition is: same, same no difference even if we are very different one from the other. In life, some are lucky and some aren’t. The balance isn’t level. But after all that, we are all human beings. We always criticise, we are never happy with what we have, what we are, what we’ve become… I don’t see anything; and people should see with their heart. Just because the person beside you is not exactly like you that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth it! I don’t hear anything; what about the distress of a homeless person in the street? Help the poor. I don’t say a thing; speak with your hart. Speak loud and believe in what you say. Don’t be afraid. What Gandhi Says was about the fundamental values that we forget sometimes.
Describe your artistic style and tools and techniques for someone who is viewing your work for the first time…
I always loved to go to exhibitions. I am very careful about details. Being very curios since day one, I was often questioning myself about how the artist was able to produce art with their tools. By visiting a lot of expos, and opening your eyes and your mind to new art, you grow, change your style, keep it the same but make it stronger, better, and much more in relation with who you are at that specific time of your life. Every artist needs to evolve and the same goes for their style. My style? Can we say a mix of a lot of style? I am profoundly inspired by the Asian culture. Is it because it’s rather new for me? Is it because it is so mysterious? Certainly for the fineness and the colours.
Street Art for the surprise it gives while walking in a city and primitive art for the shape, the naïve style and the natural materials used to create it. And finally, modern art for the questioning it creates.
Those past 13 years, I had the chance to travel a lot, taking tons of pictures. Photo transfer with mixed media became my medium as it lets me convey lots of emotions. It is like writing a poem. My work reflects the importance I attach to eyes. My images have a deliberate nostalgic dimension. The essence of being is captured by the lens. I then transcribe the emotion generated by these ephemeral encounters. My work reveals that part of myself.
My images are always in black and white. I enlarge them in A1 or A0 and put a transfer solution on it. Face on the canvas and by using water, delicate strokes and a lot of patience, the paper of the picture is scrubbed off the canvas. And after begins the work of mixed media with oil, colours, charcoal, ink, cloth, pigments, paper… I shade, I enhance, and I give a texture.
Any advice for young budding artists?
Never give up. Stay open minded. Believe in what you do. Follow all the opportunities life is offering you. I draw really badly, I don’t like my oil or acrylic paintings and I can’t take the photographs myself since I’m not a photographer. But I wanted to share all these beautiful faces, these souls which I have crossed paths with.
It’s when the two meet with other elements that things really come together. I found what gives me joy and happiness to do and show.
Who or what inspires you to continue producing art?
New pictures, new faces, new challenges, a new travel destination – all of these things! Yourinsideneedstostayasactiveasyouroutside. A future exhibition with another expat artist based in Doha has been a driving force too. Her style is totally different. The preparation will be very important in order to exhibit pieces with homogeneity and not only showcase paintings on a wall. That pushes me to go further and continue producing art. I had a great response from visitors at the opening of What Gandhi Says and still have compliments for Made In Asia. As long as what I share is appreciated, there is no reason for me to stop. It is pushing me to continue and do better. ✤