Primary Colours/Couleurs Primary (PC/Cp) is delighted to announce that:
Lorrie Jean-Louis is the recipient of the
Emerging Artist Award for the year 2020
Each year, this award of $2000 is given to an emerging artist who comes from Indigenous, Black or communities of colour. This Emerging Artist Award is funded exclusively from donations offered to Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires by artists and others who work in the Canadian art system.
Chris Creighton-Kelly, co-Director, said: “There are so many notable, emergent Black artists these days. Lorrie’s work is urgent yet complex; weaving her personal voice into - as she puts it - ‘The Woman of 100 Colours.’ We feel humbled to be able to honour her with this modest award.”
France Trépanier, co-Director, added: “We are delighted to recognize the sensitivity, the precision and the fortitude of the words of poet and essayist Lorrie Jean-Louis. Her writing is imbued with a thought-provoking humanity that challenges preconceived ideas about racial and feminist realities.”
Upon hearing the news of this award, Lorrie Jean-Louis said: “For me, the woman who wrote La femme cent couleurs, receiving the Primary Colours/Couleurs Primaires award is an honour of great beauty. I wrote with simple materials and I used the primary colours seeking to bring out a range of emotions, sensations, landscapes. Receiving this award gives me the certainty that I have a responsibility: to show younger racialised people how to trust their intuition. Do not be afraid of being yourself within the greatest freedom possible. "
Lorrie studied Library Science and wrote her Master thesis in Literary Studies (UQÀM) on the question of the Black body and intersubjectivity in Morrison, Gordimer and Beyala. In charge of the development of ‘First Novel’ reading clubs (UNEQ), she sat on the board of directors of the Salon du livre de Montréal. Lorrie currently contributes to the journal Liberté. La femme cent couleurs, a finalist for the Prix des Libraires du Québec, is her first book.
"Now, being a woman and being Black is at least twice as busy an agenda because you have to be constantly careful not to be robbed of your tenderness," says Lorrie Jean-Louis in the prologue to her first collection of poetry. Here is a short excerpt:« j’ai donné à mes mots / des pieds fous // vous m’entendez sans me voir / ma classe est en fond de cale // négresse / je reste ». « Mon corps est lustré de tous les naufrages // le seul sémaphore que je connaisse / s’est abîmé entre les négriers /les aquarius ».
Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires is a multi-year, bilingual initiative which seeks to place Indigenous art practices at the centre of the Canadian art system. Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires also asserts that the practices of Black artists and artists of colour play a critical role in any discussion that imagines the future(s) of Canada.
In 2020, Lorrie Jean-Louis received the Quebec Council of Arts and Letters Award (CALQ) — Œuvre de la relève à Montréal 2020 (CALQ Prize - Works by an Emerging Artist in Montréal) for La femme cent couleurs. This award is intended to recognize the excellence of the work of artists and authors as well as to promote their influence. Read about the award here. Congratulations Lorrie!
Banner image: photo by Étienne Bienvenu