“Corinne Duchesne” By Irene Loughlin

Transformation, is an ambiguous condition Essay & Gallery View
Answer – by Corinne Duchesne

February 6, 2014
Original Lilnk

FAAD Instructor Corinne Duchesne launches an exhibition of new works at Hamilton Artists Inc. January 23 – March 1, 2014 www.theinc.ca

FAAD Instructor Corinne Duchesne’s exhibition at Hamilton Artists Inc. (with Peter Horvath and Anna Torma) explores concepts of memory and the ways in which grieving is experienced and received. As visitors enter the vestibule at Hamilton Artists Inc., they ascend a flight of stairs into the central foyer and convene upon four commanding works on mylar. Hung as contemporary banners or tapestries, these larger than life representations contain mythic and metaphorical encounters with nature via the interactions of anthropomorphic beings. The tree/animal/human configurations cycle through varying states of duress, perhaps embodying the current emotive and ecological uncertainty of our contemporary moment. Compositionally, these figures pull, push and collapse at the boundaries of the epic and sequential pages of the exhibition’s journey.

Duchesne states that careful consideration of the negative space is of primary concern in the building of the compositions, through which she creates a stark contrast to the carefully layered, painted and collaged elements. These negative spaces function as containers of the unfolding visions of the works’ complex sections. In the work “Answer “ a dark cloud composed of a tangled mass of crows hovers over a central figure crouched upon a teetering arrangement of bowls. The figure floats in the substantial field of negative space to the left and right of the composition. It faces towards an imagined ‘real’ expanse beyond the picture frame, and recalls a destabilized, sculptural gargoyle of earlier centuries.

The motif of the bowl or vessel as both empty and containing is another recurring theme in Duchesne’s body of work. In the work “Floating “ a vessel both emerges from and supports the torso of a feline figure half-submerged in water and collapsing over an icy, melting precipice. In the background of this work, a larger bowl floats a cat and a crow that are poised in aggressive anticipation of future encounters.

The remaining compositions encompass a confusion of bodies where the limbs of humans and animals grasp and elude each other. In “Sybil “ a human arm grasps the leg of an animal in flight. The tail and torso of the animal suggests a wolf fleeing the composition. The wolf’s paw metamorphosizes into a human hand, thus freezing the interaction within an eternal struggle between shape-shifting, anthropomorphic beings.

Duchesne’s exhibition at Hamilton Artists Inc. is a cacophony of modern life with all its attending beauty, struggle and collapse. The work calls to be physically experienced in order to appreciate the full effect of its strength and presence.