In Murielle White’s art East meets West, the Old World meets the New, and ancient and traditional techniques meet the experimental and innovative as she explores the diverse influences of her heritage and artistic training. She welds fragments of cultural identity into an identifying whole in a search for her authentic “self.”
A native of Paris, France, where she spent her childhood, White grew up in a family created from the diverse cultures of India (her paternal grandfather), Vietnam (her paternal grandmother), Guadeloupe (her maternal grandmother), and France (her maternal grandfather).
“So from a young age, I was immersed in different cultures, and learned to adapt to my cultural environment. Language, food and traditions were different from one home to the other. However, French was our common language.”
Perhaps, because of her cultural connection to many places, White always wanted to travel. Having a strong desire to learn the English language as a young girl living in France, she decided to travel to England, where she worked with a church group. Later, her journey brought her to the United States where she ended up in Florida. In 2003 she studied graphic design at St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, Florida and in 2005 she graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Florida in Tampa with a BFA in studio art. Following her graduation, she spent a summer studying in China. While in south Florida, she met her husband, an engineer from the Midwest. His subsequent move to Texas led her to earn a MFA in painting and drawing from the University of North Texas, in Denton in May 2010.
White’s compositions are sometimes based on her memories of childhood. On the Way to the Beach (oil and mixed media on canvas, 48”X 42”) reminds one of brilliant sunshine and water at sunset. A significant amount of thick paint is dashed on canvas and overlayed on what seems like an underlying structural grid, which is not easily exposed to the viewer. Our sensory perceptions pick up a myriad of sights, sounds, and smells of lush vegetation and wildlife that reminds us of exotic places.
“…As a little girl, when I used to visit my relatives in Guadeloupe, I remember my great grandfather getting his boat and tools ready to go fishing. Those memories are like still photographs in my mind...”
Murielle White has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions and has been the recipient of numerous awards. She is a member of that special group of multi-national (multi-ethnic) women who combine modern techniques with their own traditional forms and motifs. What we are seeing now is a new generation of fearless women who proceed with boldness and brilliance in this new millennium. We now witness the expansive histories of other cultures through the open lenses of White’s oeuvre.