Mj THOMAS artiste en arts visuels
Because I have a bad memory. Because I allow myself to move forward without knowing where I’m going. Because I have an investigative eye, I look for answers in the texture of materials, I bring neglected things, buried beauties, into the light. Because I question the complexity of forms, the intrinsic ambiguity of identity, I am an archeologist at heart.
I make material speak like a witness of the past, of many different pasts. To produce a detailed account of my meticulous observations of these memo-forms, I use rigorous processes and scientific, survey-like techniques.
By recreating markings, I repeat the act of creation through erosion-formation. I abandon myself and question myself on the impact of time on matter; matter that is witnesses to the creation, the scarification, and finally the dissolution of all forms and identities.
Works from the series Morphogénèse, presented in the group exhibition Confluence, question the deep, universal memory imprinted on the surface of materials, composing and giving shape to them, to objects, and to places.
Marie-Josée Thomas was born in Montréal in 1972, where she still lives and works. She received a College Diploma in Visual Arts from the CEGEP Lionel-Groulx, and later majored in Studio Arts at the University of Montréal, where she studied under Peter Krausz, Alain Paiement, Pierre Granche and Serge Tousignant. She twice received the president’s award of excellence for her overall academic achievement, which earned her the designation of the Dean's Honour List.
After venturing away from the art world, Marie-Josée has returned to her roots, to her true self, and has fully re-embraced her art practice. Her recent works demonstrate her artistic renaissance and are a channel for her personal epiphany.
Karine Demers has lived and worked in Montreal since 1997 where she studied visual arts and interior design. In 2013 motivated by an Art Therapist she was referred to for a recurring nutritional condition she had been challenged with since childhood, Demers found that she could manage her wellness with the practice of this intense and meticulous art form. Inspired by paper as her chosen medium, the folding of simple geometric forms in large numbers are the foundation for these constructions. The forms are inspired by the techniques derived from traditional origami and mosaic. As daylight shifts shadows elongate and shorten effecting a kinetic quality to the work. With both straight edge and more organic abstract forms the repetitive and meditative presence endures as a point of fascination. Demers harnessed the constraints of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in combination with the eating disorder to become a vital creative force. Art Therapy allowed the artist to liberate her interior identity, to express her emotions and to empower herself as a person. The resulting work is one of reflection on the desire to put into place the concept of finding beauty in the vulnerability of our existence. In this practice of great patience and delicacy, Demers first exhibited her work in 2015 to great interest.
Sophie Manessiez Guinet:
Sophie Manessiez Guinet is a Montréal-based ceramic artist who was born and raised in northern France. Her diverse background is a reflection of her curiosity and her interest in communication and art.
Manessiez Guinet first discovered the world of ceramics when she met a potter during her studies at the École d’art Saint-Luc in Belgium. She became fascinated by the medium’s gestural precision, the movement of the wheel, and the manipulation of clay.
As part of her final thesis for her Bachelor’s degree is Visual Art, she presented a ceramic project that earned her a special mention of the jury.
In 1998, she completed her studies with a major in Communications and later worked for several event planning agencies, but never lost her interest in ceramics.
In 2007, she took several classes, including one with the renowned artist Gabrielle Wambaugh. “With Gabrielle, I learned to let my inspiration flow unconsciously and to work with different forms and materials.” During these classes, Sophie made her first piece which would carry her research on simple forms and repetition for years to come.
Wanting to spend more time on her ceramic work, Sophie left her professional career in communications behind for good in 2016, and has devoted herself to her art practice full time ever since.
Confluence is her first exhibition.
« Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu »
« I am because we are »
It is within the simplicity of this phrase that summarizes the ancient philosophy of Ubuntu where Sophie found her inspiration. As much seduced by the belief that the group is the multiplication of the potential of each individual as by the power that comes from the connection that unites us all. Her sculptures play on the multiplication of the simplest forms to end in the production of structures that are complex, delicate and organic.
Sophie illustrates in her creations the dichotomy that exists between the brutality and the harmony both found not only in nature, but in the human emotion and societal structures. Her work expresses her particular vision of both the natural world and human behaviour. The forms of her artwork are notably inspired by reactions and responses to certain social experiences that she has observed or lived.
As part of her artistic process, Sophie adopts an instinctive and impulsive approach, strongly contrasted by a meticulousness inspired from an artisan’s mastered, precise, repetitive and laborious gestures that are imbued with know-how acquired through experience and the passing of time.
In order to address and mature her idiom, Sophie works primarily with porcelain and black stoneware due to the contrasts these mediums reveal: purity, delicacy and fragility of porcelain together with the hardness and resistance of stoneware.
Each different element of her artwork is entirely sculpted by hand, making each creation unique. This makes her creations organic and spontaneous with a unique visual dimension.