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5 Things We Learned... Margaux Portron

MARGAUX PORTRON, FREELANCE WRITER, ILLUSTRATOR, AND CURATOR

LONDON, UK

Margaux Portron likes to get involved. We met last winter and I was well impressed by her motivation to create opportunities that bridge topics in art, ethics, feminism, and museum design into practical programming. Margaux holds a PhD in political philosophy and works as a writer, illustrator, and curator. As the former head of outreach for Art Night, London’s largest public contemporary arts festival, she built an impressive network of art and community partners throughout the city. Currently, she manages Paper Planes, a project for which she received funding from the Arts Council England. Paper Planes is a series of workshops that promotes collaborations and discussions between artists and philosophers on topics such as conflict art and ethical practice. It welcomes the public to participate in the discussions with an aim to engage as many people as possible in timely debates. She was also a visiting expert last month at Steamhack #4, part of a series of hackathons hosted by Central Saint Martins, UaL that explore issues of a future, post-digital world through the lens of art and creativity.

Here are 5 Things We Learned about Margaux.

What made you...you?

I thought for a long time that having interests in writing, art, politics and illustration would be a problem when working as it could appear as confusing. My time came in the last couple of years when artistic organizations were looking for project managers with a commitment to critical thinking and good practices, and when policymaking agencies were looking for creative individuals.

When are you happiest?

 When I write and draw. I’ve made a decision to do that more this year because it makes me happy. I also love free-diving, I wish I could do it more.  

Would you rather have a muse or be a muse?

I’d rather be amused.

Who do you admire?

My husband’s grandmother. She got married at 16, lost her husband and one child, managed her own businesses in 20th century Morocco, refused to remarry and has lived by herself for 30 years. She’s also one of the funniest people I know (when I understand her…my Arabic is not very good). 

What is important?

“If you don’t love, your life will flash by” (The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick). Perhaps corny, but true. I love things and beings very easily, not necessarily in a romantic way. But I cherish the beauty of faults in people. In French, we call it being a coeur d’artichaut, an artichoke heart, because you give a leaf to everyone.


Follow Margaux on Instagram @margaux_portron.

Images of Margaux Portron and her inspiration (her drawings and personal photography)