New Caledonia and the Birth of Art by the Sea

By Caroline Degroiselle

In the heart of the South Pacific between Australia and New Zealand, New Caledonia is also called “the island closest to paradise.”

Caroline Degroiselle with ancestors totems

Lush nature, magical lights, varied landscapes, powerful mountains, plains like of the far west, coral reef, nickel mines, are all surrounded by the largest and most beautiful lagoon in the world.

Because of its shape of a long cigar (400 km long by 50 km wide), I have always felt like I am living on a huge liner; wherever I am, the sea is visible and it envelops me with its colors, strength, peace and its joyful play with the « Alizés » winds.

No wonder that this lagoon and its reef necklace are an integral part of my artistic inspiration. I am a mermaid, both under water and on the ground.

Discovered in 1774 by the navigator James Cook, it was named “New Caledonia” in the honor of Scotland.

This island, of which French is the official language, has had a long colonial history; powerful, painful but also full of hopes. Between being the deportation ground, religious land, strategic island for the Americans during World War II, land of pioneers, cowboys and miners, the great Pacific ocean has thrown on the New Caledonian shores many peoples. They bear traditions and look at the world with courage, hope and invention.

This rich legacy of Isle, sea and Men inspires artists. The influence of these intertwined factors and their powerful energy offers a range of astonishing artistic creations.

This « Earth-Sea-Sun » constantly nourishes me. It speaks to me, it plays with happiness in my colors. It gives me that innovative, living freedom that springs forth in every creative adventure of my paintings, while living on this Island, the fairest in the world.