MARIE-LAURE VAREILLES AKA MAÏLO

French artist Maïlo is a former architectural designer. In the last few decades, she has traveled each continent, camera in hand, in search of powerful images which testify to the diversity of each nation and peoples composing our planet. She is inspired to memorialize the fast changes taking place globally within populations and their habitats, urbanizations of the landscapes, and the internalization of cultures.

When Maïlo travels she absorbs her surroundings: the people, nature, architecture, substance, and above all, the light. Then her photographic work begins. This consists of capturing what her eyes see. As a witness with her camera, she seeks contrast: the grand versus the miniature, the landscape versus the urban sprawl, the busy versus the quiet, the far versus the close, and the pure versus the obscure. Each photo the artist takes becomes a puzzle piece that she will later insert into an impressive new image.

Upon returning to her studio, she lets herself be seduced by a slide. She soaks in the image until her imagination forms a dream-like narrative. The dream pulls her further into a voyage in which the final assembly is visualized. She combines images from various fictional journeys to create a final remarkable image. The creation of these montages enables fantasy. They allow her to invent stories that surprise her. Her expeditions to far-off lands such as Australia, India, China, Ethiopia, The Himalayas, Iran, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Mongolia greatly mark her creations and allow the viewer to voyage alongside her and create a story of his or her own.