No one can escape from their origins and personal experiences
"My encounter with clay began as a child, in Madagascar, where I was fascinated by the work of the Malagasy, who sculpted legendary characters from the clay with their hands. Until my teenage years, my life was a travel journal, a succession of arrivals and departures: Mauritius, the Reunion, Kenya, the Ivory Coast, etc.
It was in Kenya that I learnt the basics of shaping clay from the Maasai, who modelled strange and fabulous beings. As early as the age of 14, my mind was made up: I would be an artist. In the Ivory Coast, the head of the Abidjan School of Fine Arts took me under her wing and, given that I was still too young to join the school, gave me private lessons.
Later and further on, here I am: a pupil at the Montpellier School of Fine Arts where, re-christened by a Japanese friend, Kenji, I have become the sculptor Mariko.
I work with bronze and stone but am particularly partial to sandstone, a frost-resistant material that requires firing at 1340°, as well as recycled materials, such as miscellaneous motor parts, which I assemble with an arc welder and then include in my sculptures.
The true source of art lies in our hearts
Each of my creations is a love story that I live alone throughout the entire creative process, before giving them back their freedom when they are finished. I then give most of my sculptures a black finish, which is not only a tribute to this majestic wood, ebony: black also plays a key role in revealing light in matter. And it is the movement of my characters that makes me calm. And so ends my artistic journey, on which I set out with the aim of sharing and offering up a dream, a myth and a story to those who come and see my sculptures. And to speak to their hearts, the only true source of art." Mariko