Posted on december 14th 2020
By Yohann Goyat
Maude Corriveau, recently graduated with a master's degree in visual and media arts from UQAM, saw the light one day. From then on, her obsession was to want to draw it through various artistic processes. His last exhibition “En suspens” (from November 21 to December 13 at the Pôle Gaspé in Montreal) very carefully presented her seven works, all drawn in pastel, giving an impression of immersion and bluffing reflection. After a tour of the exhibition, Maude invites us into her studio and lifts the veil on this very specific creative process of which she alone holds the secret.
The visual immersion begins as soon as you arrive, on the 6th floor of 5445 du Pôle Gaspé in the Mile-End with a first painting hanging in the hallway titled Fragments Ondoyants. Once the door is pushed, the reflection of a mirror placed on the ground in a corner catches the eye. A game of reflection and mise en abyme in which the works are reflected. A work on the ground, highlighted by a cube, is none other than the reflection of the angle of the ceiling above it. The other five hang on the walls, themselves carefully painted in pastel tones. This staging, skillfully orchestrated by the artist herself, aims to create games of illusions and reflection giving the perfect impression of immersion. The works come to life thanks to the reverberation of light, the reflection in this mirror, and the dimensions and perspectives specific to each of them.
An iridescent fascination
For this exhibition, the light is put on the dichroic glass. A shimmering and transparent glass that she made using an iridescent vinyl glued on top. The drape used for the majority of his works also brings a play of light as well as the necessary reflection to the work, but is by no means the center of it. At that time Maude sets up her photo booth in which she places the two main elements. The choice of viewing angle, position, degrees of inclination, shape of the lens ... everything is reflected and thought out. “It's important to take into consideration the lines and depths with this kind of glass used,” she says. “Over time, I have developed an infinite fascination with this material,” she quipped.
"The light guides everything"
Light plays an important, even primordial role, both in its exposure and in the creative process. Once the staging is in place, Maude will make use of the reflection of light through the lens of her camera. The young artist does not call herself a great photographer, but sometimes “with the reflective glass and by accident, I can achieve great results. As I sometimes spend several days taking pictures and not being satisfied with them, ”she quipped. Lighting as natural as possible even if sometimes colored light gives beautiful optical illusions according to her. Her image work also goes through digital technology and thus continues creation on her graphic tablet. “Digital colors are different from natural colors,” she says. And this is what she finds with the computer software that she uses and with which she brings the object into a surreal space. She triturates the latter and pushes the limits to hyper realism, an artistic movement which she says, “is closest to her artistic approach.” The lines, the movements, the size, the contrasts, the luminosity, the shading, without forgetting the colors, everything is redefined until obtaining a result which is sometimes brilliant and reflective.
This long process completed, Maude hangs the drawing paper on the wall which will serve as a support for her future work. She then turns on her overhead projector and projects her digital sketch on the wall. Another source of light that she makes use of and does not hide it. “Many artists practice this technique, but few recognize it. I fully assume ”she quips. The main lines take shape and it is then that come into play the bright and shimmering colors of which she dedicates a passionate love. “There are three styles of pastel that I use,” she says. The first is in pastille, which is similar to eye shadow, the second in chalk and the third in pencil. Each of them has a very specific use when it comes to playing with tints, gradients and transparencies. The broad guidelines of the glass or perspective are drawn using a thicker pencil or chalk. As for the background, Marie uses the sponges "as if she were painting" in order to extend and harmonize the contrasts of light. It is with the help of a fixer that she freezes the layers of pastel "in order to play better with the transparencies" she explains. “In hyperrealism there is never an end. I could push creation even further if I wanted ”she concludes.
Each work is hard work. Maude can work up to eight hours a day in her studio, but the ultimate culmination of this creative process is still the framing and exposure to the general public. Here again Maude pushes the detail and perfectionism to their paroxysm since she also painted the frames and the walls in pastel colors, taking particular care in the staging: "It's important for me the games of illusion and of perception in the places where I exhibit ”. “En suspens” is definitely an exhibition of immersive visual arts that must be experienced and whose works are visible at the Nicolas Robert gallery since December 13, 2020.