ARTIST STATEMENT – DOMINIQUE CHAUVAUX
SOLO SHOW FLAMES – MAY 2018
I am passionate about the human, regardless of age and physical features.
As an artist, I am fascinated by the body, this amazing vehicle inside which we cross in apparent safety the mountains and the valleys, as well as the deserts and the oases of our lives. Although resistant and extremely sophisticated, it is nevertheless subject to the pangs of time and the bumpy roads, sometimes tortuous and rugged, on which we travel.
Through my art, I seek, whether in my works in oil, my drawings or my soot representations, to translate the resilience and fragility of body and soul, their beauty and dignity, especially in the faces that I have interpreted or imagined for the Flames exhibition.
The works presented here are made with the candle flame, which I use in the manner of a brush, the soot leaving on the paper a trace that is similar to that of charcoal, but with more transparency and depth. It seemed to me that this medium perfectly suited my intention : to pay tribute to the missing and murdered Native women in Canada over the past decades. Indeed, the soot leaving a trace that is both strong and fragile, and fire being a symbol of transformation, I wanted to show the impact that the lives of these women, although disappeared, had on me and on all those who denounce hatred and indifference. To show that they still exist in our consciences and our hearts.The smoke that lingers after the candle is blown out leaves a kind of presence.
Their tragic fate touches me deeply and I wanted to give a face to these women whose features could have sunk into oblivion, when no photo exists to communicate the smile or the sparkle of their eyes. The works are not portraits, strictly speaking, but abstract representations resulting from my desire to get closer to these abused souls, in order to capture their light and give them a little warmth.
The flame that I use to paint is the symbol of these women, whose lives were so suddenly blown away. But the marks left on the paper testify to the reality of their existence: they laughed, they cried, they loved, they danced. They suffered too. I wanted to meet these women, my sisters.