Discover Barcelona's Own, Mariona Lloreta
From the minute I saw Mariona's work I was blown away. The relationship between the colors of her visuals, and the stories that depict black freedom, grace and power was enough for me to be curious of who she was. Mariona Lloreta is a visual artist and film maker from the cultural streets of Barcelona, Catalunya. Her visual work stirs conversations among its viewers and magnifies the essence of cultures beyond her own. These stories may not be happening in the present lives of many, but they still exist across the world. Lloreta's fervor for pushing positive change through creative arts led her to start Open Door in 2013. Open Door is a cross-country and multidisciplinary art platform where artists from all over the world discuss their art, its impact in today's cultural and social landscape, and start a conversation with one another. Get to know the main essentials of the beautiful woman that is Mariona Lloreta below.
How long have you been a visual artist?
It is hard to put a date to this: I have always created, from a very young age. Since I can remember, I would spend hours drawing with my grandmother and summers organizing performances and plays at home. I was involved in many different types of disciplines as a kid, whether it was ballet, singing, drums, piano, etc. Barcelona, the city where I was born and raised, has a way of injecting Art into daily life in such a seamless and organic way. There is beauty all around you: from Gaudí's buildings in Passeig de Gràcia, to wonderful street musicians and artists, and the whole city is a giant party every weekend until sunrise. I feel like growing up in such a special place, art is perceived as something that is very intimately tied to being human and it has deeply influenced the way I engage in artistic practices.
When did you first discover art as one of your talents?
Since I can remember, I have always used art as a means of expression - from painting to dancing to playing music. It has always been a means of sharing and coping with the complexities of my life and the lives of those around me.
How often do you practice your art?
I am constantly involved in different art forms. Every day I dedicate myself to some form of art or another, whether it is working on a visual piece, directing a film, or performing. A perfect day to me is a day when I was able to use creativity to contribute to the world and to connect with others.
Who are some artists that inspire you?
I am so lucky to know and be surrounded by so many inspiring artists. Most of my friends are incredible musicians, dancers and visual artists. Many of my family members are artists also. They all support and inspire me daily to reach higher and be a better human being.
The subjects of your work are black people. Why do you choose them?
A couple of years ago, I was commissioned to spend several months directing film work in Lagos, Nigeria. Prior to traveling, I shared my excitement with those around me and I was very surprised at their well-meaning concern and reaction towards my travels to Africa’s Big Apple.
Disease, poverty, and danger were some of the things I was warned about. I decided to travel anyway and during the following months, I became immersed in the life, culture and heartbeat of Lagos. I sampled Nigerian cuisine, traveled the streets, absorbed the spirit of its people and the music of Nigeria’s vibrant languages. Lagos is one of the most magical places I have ever been to and I always feel short of words when trying to describe the beauty and energy I experienced.
Race is such a pervasive issue in the United States and around the world. On top of that, the mainstream media continues to perpetuate a quite reductionist narrative of Africa, portraying the Continent as impoverished, war stricken, and riddled with disease.
As a woman of African descent with roots in Egypt, I am committed to breaking down geographical and cultural barriers and to widening the scope of our lens to reveal a more realistic image of the Continent and the Diaspora. My ultimate goal is to find a common ground across and within cultures, races and genders to capture experiences that we all relate to, conveying a sense of Oneness and celebrating and honoring our story and our skin. In the end, we are all One.
For more of Mariona´s work follow her online:
Vimeo: Mariona Lloreta