jeudi 15 septembre 2016

«Leitmotiv» Article by Olivia Ranger-Enns

From September 1 to 25, Galerie Art Plus’ new exhibit, aptly titled “Leitmotiv”, features a clever combination of three distinctly unique artistic perspectives provided by Brigite Normandin, Akycha Surette and her mother, Susan Surette.
In their own unique ways, each artist’s contribution brings pause for thought by exploring diverse subject matters. Whether tackling subjects like the precarious state of the environment, life and death, topography and/or land forms, Brigite Normandin, Akycha Surette and Susan Surette embark on their own individual projects with zeal and dedication. Sound diverse enough for you?
Once again, Normandin has undertaken yet another ambitious project, this time studying butterflies. Having developed a fascination for these wild creatures since she was a child, Normandin has fine-tuned her approach by dabbling in earthy tones such as chocolate browns, jet blacks and creamy beiges. In so doing, she has been dedicating herself to reproducing butterflies on the canvas by paying careful attention to precision. While Normandin works on reproducing the anatomy and structure of each butterfly in excruciating detail, she also makes sure to add fun elements like door handles or markers to make her canvases both fresh and modern. “I’ve tried a more subtle approach this time,” explained Normandin. “My goal was to tackle the environment and talk about its fragility, but I wanted to do so in a manner that was less… aggressive.”
© Brigite Normandin

By correlation, Akycha Surette’s canvases explore a myriad of different subjects by understated means. Employing a Japanese minimalist style, Surette explores and brings to life the every-day world: viewers can come to appreciate a bicycle, a streetlight, stop signs, even traffic smoke under an entirely new angle. Working with gold leaf, it is possible to argue that Surette’s technique is a means of paying homage to well-known artists like Gustav Klimt. What is undeniable is that Surette can be hailed as a master with colors, making quietly powerful political statements by incorporating themes of childhood, violence, technology and military prowess in all of her artwork. It quickly becomes evident that Surette likes to draw parallels between the past and the present, highlighting important political events like atomic bombings in a manner that never shies from displaying reality as it is: dark, somber, yet alluring. Whereas one drawing depicts an androgynous-looking child lifting up his/her skirts to reveal skeletal legs and feet, another showcases healthy-looking children holding hands while a plane flies precariously close to their heads, atomic bombs featured in the lower bottom half.    
© Akycha Surette

Akycha Surette’s mother, Susan Surette, has developed a rich and passionate love for the Eastern Townships…a love which translates into her work. Having lived, ambled, hiked, swum, canoed and skied in the Eastern Townships for over 20 years, Surette decided to create a series of ceramic tiles to celebrate the environment she has grown to love. Inspired by her current art historical research into tile histories, especially those of medieval Islam and 18th century Dutch majolica, Surette’s “Eastern Townships” tiles reflect the beauty of the landscape by showcasing biomorphic patterns as well as paleontological and geological configurations. By placing geographic representations in parallel with creative designs of her own choosing, Surette’s ceramic tiles are wondrous in their uniqueness because of the many surprising configurations they offer to the viewer.
© Susan Surette

From September 1 to 25, come by and see for yourself… “Leitmotiv” is not to be missed!