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Modernity has changed our relationship with the body. 

This carnal envelope is now a central marker of identity and has become a defining sign of contemporary individualization. 

Besides the imperatives of appearance and youth that govern our society, we are invited to build our body, maintain its shape, shape its appearance, obscure aging or fragility. 

The relationship to the body is done under the aegis of self-control by displaying the image that one intends to give to others.

However, in the face of this reflection, this body image, independent of oneself, which others perceive, the subject is often placed as a spectator of his own image which would be only a representation/a body seen. This body image would then present itself as an "Other me".

And, if the subject was partially dissociated from this body seen. Now, without feeling identity dependent on this body in metamorphosis, what about the individual in front of the sense of self? And, what existential relationship does he have with his environment that sends back an image with which he is dissociated?


How do you see the metamorphosis in your artistic work?


Cecilia: The notion of metamorphosis is really linked to the idea of ​​movement, of something that is constantly evolving, always changing.


To put it in context, in my work there is often this notion of being ghostly. So, of my body which appears and disappears. Whether in a given place, in a space, or if not in a more mental state. There, I refer to my older works like the series 'Ghost' (I work a lot in series), so in this series of works, it gives a meaning of an emergence, of an awareness of oneself and of one's identity that emerges from obscurity. It's like a demiurgic being.


And so, after this notion of being ghostly, is found later, in other series such as "Imprinted on” next to monuments or otherwise with the work that I present at La Centrale, the series 'Reminiscence', where I find myself in places of the Caribbean, whether in Santiago de Cuba, in Havana, or in Fort de France in Martinique… so there, this notion of metamorphosis, is of disappearance and of appearance, refers to the impact that places have on me, and also the impact that I can have on this space.


So, this notion of ... not interdependence, but the interrelation between space and myself.


I could also say with the notion of my metamorphosis is linked to identity, because I consider that identity is not something solid, monolithic. It is something constantly changing and evolving because we “become”, in relation to the encounters we make, in relation to travel, to the spaces we inhabit… I would say that the spaces inhabit us, and we also inhabit the spaces.


So, I would say that this notion of metamorphosis is very important in my work!


Yes, I am from Alberta, I am a multi-disciplinary artist. In addition to painting, I also do video and installation.


Why watercolour portraits?

The watercolour portraits are more about the psychology of what it is to be human and the struggle in the body. The water colours were an attempt to try and put that into a pictorial form using pigment and lots of layers; of gently layered watercolour over and over and over. And I put the picture in an isolated space to reflect how we have become very isolated through social media. So, they are sort of endearing and alienated figures.


How do you think the public will react?

I understand (ref. to Egon Schiele). People have static ideas about what a portrait is, and how a portrait should look… and I like to shake that up. So, I want people to be poked a little, to feel a little pain when they look at my work.  And to see portraits or bodies in different ways, right?

It’s interesting. All of us have carefully guarded ideas about who we are that often don’t match our exterior. So, I am trying to capture them and to stop, and hopefully through the painting relate to "well, what do I look like if that's what that looks like?"

So, I get a lot of people who are like slightly repulsed or upset by the way that the flesh is rendered. And that’s ok for me because not only telling the story of who this person is, but I am telling the story of what it means to be human.


And, also, I want to talk about paint. In the video you will see really close-ups of how the paint works and lives on the paper in subtle layers. And then, you zoom out and you will see portraits.

It’s about seeing painting differently, and seeing the idea of what a portrait is.


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© 2021 La Centrale galerie Powerhouse, graphic design by LOKI, documentation by Alignements