Gallery View and Essay "Transformation, is an ambiguous condition"
Essay by Kathryn Hogg, Curator

Gallery View

Transformation, is an ambiguous condition Essay & Gallery View

This is a page of Gallery Views, from the
Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant, presenting
"Transformation, is an ambiguous condition"

I would like to thank the OAC for their
generous support with
"Transformation, is an ambiguous condition"

The Ontario Arts Council is an agency
of the Government of Ontario


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Corinne Duchesne works from the inside out to create an emotional explosion of imagery and associations fro the viewer. Fallen her most brilliantly coloured work in the exhibition depicts a black and white figure in charcoal twisting and bending back into the flaming root system of a tree that is hurling vertically across the page. Large Mylar sheets are fitted with a hanging system of bolted Plexiglass strips. The illusion of the Mylar slipping behind the frame like old moving picture shows emphasizes Duchesne's moving force in her work.

Duchesne works with the smooth surface of the Mylar to let it reveal her capabilities to make it glossy, slick and visceral. She manipulates it further with collaged elements, and a variety of dry and wet mediums. The studies that are installed near each of the larger works give the viewer insight in to her working process. She makes note of associations and colours that she may use, rethink, and rework in the finished piece. The detail in the studies doesn't preclude Duchesne's skill at unleashing a feeling of spontaneity in her finished work.

Duchesne is a master of moving the viewer's eye throughout the work. In Lading the eye first rests on a small, seemingly inconsequential light orange bowl shape under the figure's arm pit. Then it darts up to the bright orange swatch of colour in the top left corner and down the diagonal body to the wisp of material that wings from the figure's shin and lands outside the picture plane. In "Tether," there is the beautiful transformation from the complete release and letting go of the body, to the upward movement of the crows pull. The accents of red and orange draw up as the purple in the arm moves the figure earthward. Duchesne leaves just the right amount of clear Mylar to contrast with the darks and gesso lights while striking a balance of surprising colour contrasts. her layering doesn't stop-there's so much to look at and react to. In her beastly/human imagery Corinne Duchesne shows us the struggle of life and that transformation is possible.

The small format works in the Little Darlings series are accompanied by a poem, One-One Thousand by Lightsey Darst. The artist invites the viewer to select a line from that poem act as a title of any one of the small works. The poem reflects Duchesne's interest in the wheel of time and the cyclical nature of life.