Most of these paintings are acrylics and oils on canvas. Before attending Emily Carr College of Art and Design in the late ’80s, I took courses in graphic design and airbrush painting, and freelanced as a graphic designer landing little jobs here and there in Vancouver. This training has influenced my work as I have a natural tendency to favour hard lines and precision.

Much of my art explores themes of impermanence and life changes from a female perspective. Loss has played a large role in my life, and I use a variety of artistic expression (including poetry, digital collage, and video) to process my experiences. The recurring goddess motif in my paintings came directly out of the experience of losing a child. I utilize the empty womb as a metaphor for all that was lost, however some people perceive a sense of fullness and celebration of life and motherhood when viewing my work.

The Talking Mask Series was part of my solo exhibition, Facing the Demon: The Agony and the Ecstasy. It explores the idea that most of us wear a mask in public to conceal how we are truly feeling. We tell others we’re fine when they ask how we’re doing, even if we’re totally not fine at all. The mouth in each painting is forming one of the vowels of the alphabet, A, E, I, O, U, which represents our mechanical responses in social situations. The cheerful colours and decorative outer appearance conceal the inner sanctum of the true self.

1 Response to Abstract

  1. Pingback: Runes | Michelle LaRiviere

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