Exhibition: April 25 – May 9, 2015
Vernissage: Saturday, April 25, 2015, 2 – 4 pm
In her interdisciplinary practice, Geneviève Sideleau evokes the vulnerability and fragility of our temporal, embodied existence. Much of her richly layered work focuses on the body as the main ground upon which life, and all its cycles, emotions, rituals, and routines, is made visible and expressed. Previous works were labour intensive, repetitive, and bordering on obsessive in their approach. Recently, she has become more and more influenced by news headlines concerning the lives of society’s overlooked and discarded members – the needy, homeless, abused, aging, and mentally ill.
The everyday struggle of those living with mental illness is a focus in Portraits. An overgrown, out of focus face harbours mismatched eyes full of longing, beauty, and intelligence. A disjointed body is separated by gaping holes of black or sheaths of white isolating the limbs. At once they can appear to feel protected, comforted, even fierce, then turn their eyes towards grieving and longing. Reflexively, as the audience, we try to understand the subjects’ emotions, to get to know what thoughts and feelings may be happening inside them, and in that moment we begin to build empathy.
Just as the acrylic and graphite strokes that build the are blurred and layered, so too becomes the line between self and other. Sideleau’s masterful use of the media is at once hypnotic, soothing, and disconcerting as she communicates a unique, yet universal vision of the human condition.
(text: Jacquie Kolodiejchuk)