Arts·COVID Residencies

Stuck isolating in an Ivory Coast hotel during the pandemic, Maliciouz created three massive murals

For the Montreal artist "walls are like canvas" — luckily the hotel had some blank ones.

For the Montreal artist, 'walls are like canvas' — luckily the hotel had some blank ones

Stuck isolating in an Ivory Coast hotel during the pandemic, Maliciouz created three massive murals

CBC Arts

7 months ago
3:25
For the Montreal artist “walls are like canvas” — luckily the hotel had some blank ones. 3:25

In our self-shot video series COVID Residencies, we're checking out how artists are adapting their practices in isolation, whether it's diving into different processes or getting lost in their sketchbooks.

Let's go back in time a few months. It's early March of 2020 and visual artist Maliciouz is in Abidjan, Ivory Coast to partake in MASA, a performing arts market. She's just created a lovely mural. There are four days left on her scheduled trip. Enter: the COVID-19 global pandemonium. With airlines and borders temporarily closed, Maliciouz is forced into confinement for two weeks at her hotel...

While at the Enka Flat Hotel, Maliciouz noticed a lot of blank walls. "For me, walls are like canvas," she explains. She saw an opportunity and showed the hotel director her portfolio — and she was given free reign to make three murals.

Maliciouz working on a mural while in isolation in a hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. (Maliciouz)

She usually uses spray paint, but she didn't have enough left over for a full mural, so step one was to find more paint. "In Abidjan, we could only go outside for the essentials. The only stores that were opened were the essentials...The only paint I found was oil paint. I had never used this kind of paint before, but it worked out well."

Maliciouz is currently back in her studio apartment in Montreal, but she was able to capture footage in Abidjan. In this video, watch her in action as she impressively showcases her mural skills.

Maliciouz painting a mural in isolation at a hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. (Maliciouz)

You can follow Maliciouz's work here.

CBC Arts understands that this is an incredibly difficult time for artists and arts organizations across this country. We will do our best to provide valuable information, share inspiring stories of communities rising up and make us all feel as (virtually) connected as possible as we get through this together. If there's something you think we should be talking about, let us know by emailing us at cbcarts@cbc.ca. See more of our COVID-related coverage here.

(Maliciouz)

About the Author

As a young child, March Mercanti would play with his action figures for countless hours because he was obsessed with telling stories...to himself. Currently, March is a filmmaker living in Toronto, ON. He works at CBC Arts creating documentaries for artists across Canada.

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