Sylvie Michault was born in 1957 and grew up by the Atlantic Ocean in Brittany. As a child, she travelled a lot with her parents, sometimes in unusual conditions, which gave her a taste for wide-open spaces and adventure.
At the end of her secondary education, she joins the Clairaux school in Nantes and acquires the technical skills to become a professional weaver in 1976.
For ten years she divides her time between traveling, the Morbihan where she exhibits her textile creations and the Southern Alps where she teaches weaving and vegetable dyes. She then resumes her art studies in Marseille, which gives her the opportunity to exhibit in the South of France.
Sylvie arrives in French Guyana in 1991. She holds a position of visual arts teacher in Saint Laurent du Maroni she exhibits regularly in French Guyana and
In 1999, Sylvie buys a 6 hectares landscaped garden by the Mana river, accessible only by canoe. She sets up her workshop there and creates the association MAALAN, one of whose goals being to welcome the public in a natural forest environment through artistic and environmental education programs.
She obtains the support of regional and national organisations such as the DIREN (Regional Directorate for the Environment), the IRD (Institute of Research for Development), the UNESCO, the Museum of Natural History of Paris, the National Superior School of Landscapes of Versailles etc.
In an isolated natural environment, Sylvie refines her technique and enriches her art through contact with the primary forest. She continues to take part in the territory’s artistic events and wins the first prize of the contest for the slavery’s commemoration in 2001 with the painting ‘Every bean is potentially magical’, earning her to represent French Guyana at the Overseas Painters and Sculptors Show in Paris.
She is also represented by the l’Encadrier gallery in Cayenne.
It is during this period that illegal gold panning in the forest increases. Its impact on the environment becomes dramatic. More and more confronted with violence on the river, she leaves Mana and settles temporarily in the Roya valley near the Italian border. Invited by the Agora gallery in New York, she exhibits in 2016 and publishes an article denouncing the ravages of gold panning on the Amerindian populations in the American magazine ArtisSpectrum.
The following year, she exhibits at the Saorge Monastery in the Maritime Alps under the aegis of the National Monuments Center.
In October 2020, the Alex storm almost entirely destroys the valley, paralyses the human activities, alters the landscapes, leaving behind chaos and desolation.
The villages are deprived of access, but the isolated inhabitants survive through solidarity.
Alongside her creative work, Sylvie Michault is a photographer specialised in plant macrophotography. Her photos have been published in the Nat’Images magazine in August 2015 under the title A Flore de Peau.
Travel, training and exhibitions :
Artistic training and teaching from 1975 to 1987
Ecole d’art Claireaux in Nantes, concentration in fabric weaving and braiding.
Ecole des Beaux Arts de Fontblanche in Marseille, concentration in textile sculpture.
Centre de formation aux métiers d’Art Neige et Merveilles (Art of Snow and Marvels training center for artisanal crafts).
Fabric weaving and braiding workshop manager
Mercantour National Park, Tende Alpes Maritimes.
Exhibitions in Rennes, Nantes, Quiberon, and Marseille.
Wanderings from 1987 to 1991
Crossed the atlantic ocean by sailboat.
Stop overs in Spain, Portugal, Madeira, Canary islands, Cape Verde.
Sailed around brazil and in the carribean.
1992: arrival in french guiana.
From 1992 to 1997
Taught fine arts in the primary schools of Montsinery and Saint Laurent du Maroni.
Exhibitions and performances with the students.
“Imagipage” project creation with the Direction Regionale des Affaires Culturelles (Regional Office of Cultural Affairs).
Exhibitions at the Transamazoniennes festival in Saint Laurent du Maroni.
From 1997 to 2010
Settled on the Mana river in French Guiana.
Acquired a 9-hectares parcel of land in the amazonian forest.
Created the Maalan association, “Mouvement d’Accompagnement a l’Art et la Nature” (Accompaniment Movement for Nature and the Arts).
Development project of carbets (forest cabins) to welcome nature classes and provide artist residences.
Development of a botanical garden with the students of l’Ecole Nationale des Paysages de Blois et Versailles (National School of Landscaping of Blois and Versailles).
Scientific and botanical projects with the IRD and le Museum d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris (Natural History Museum of Paris)
Exhibitions at the Musée de Cultures Guyanaises (Museum of French Guiana Culture) in Cayenne, in Kourou and at the Camp de la Transportation (former sorting area for arriving penal colony prisoners) in Saint Laurent du Maroni.
2000 : 1st place in the show for the commemoration of slavery in French Guiana.
2009 – 2010 : Trip to Thaïland, Cambodia, Laos and Burma
1988 : Exhibition National School of Fine Arts – Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
1990 : Exhibition “Grandes artistas, pequenos formatos” – Pontevedra – Espagne
1990 : Exhibition “Voilà la femme” – Pontevedra – Espagne
2000 : 12th exhibition of French Overseas Painters and Sculptors – Paris – France
2008 : Exhibition Carnac – France
2010 : Exhibition “En dehors” – France
2011-2012 : Exhibition at the Encadrier gallery in Cayenne and the Encrage bookstore in Kourou.
2016 : Exhibition at Agora gallery in New York – United States -> Read this article
2017 : Exhibition Monastère de Saorge – France -> Read this article
2022 : Exhibition “Frémissements” at the Abbey of Saint André in Villeneuve lès Avignon – France -> Read this article
France, Caribbean, Brazil, Guyana, Surinam, USA, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Thaïland.