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FOCUS ON Marie-Eve G. Castonguay - Control and Movement

Marie-Eve, Canadian artist originally from Quebec, is considered an emerging artist but in just few years has already exhibited in important fairs, such as Joya and Sofa Chicago, and several exhibitions in Canada as well as various countries in Europe.

She is currently part of the Artist-in-Residence programme at Harbourfront Centre.

Her work is always about intimacy and a constant search for comfort and belonging. Her pieces put the viewer in a certain state of introspection and create a small environment for the eyes to get lost in. Her work is a sort of a reflection or even a reaction to the changes that happen throughout her own life.

Marie-Eve began to make jewellry using metal as a structural material, subsequently she started incorporating more and more colour into her jewellry, which led her to experiment with wood, paper and cotton. She likes the fragility of these materials, especially when put in contrast with the hardness of metal.

Marie-Eve G. Castonguay

In her creations Marie-Eve leads a research on various aspects.

In her jewels the presence of colour is dominant: she mainly uses brightly colored pigments that fill the space powerfully, sometimes colour goes beyond that space.

Geometric shapes characterize her work too. She always decides on the formal composition of her pieces before thinking of colour. The geometrical composition allows her to create small space in which things are going to happen, including colour, texture and movement.

The third characteristic element of her production is movement which, in contrast with color and shape, is more linked with the wearer. Looking at Marie-Eve’s jewels, the viewer is immediately attracted by the power of color and geometric lines. Looking more carefully and, above all, wearing the jewel, it is possible to realize that the artwork also produces a movement on the body.

The artist is fascinated by how things work, how they were made and what kind of force make things move or react in a certain way. She started using movement in her work because she found that it had the potential to be nearly hypnotizing and meditative and because it is related with the introspection and intimacy.

The artist creates an intimate relationship trying to emphasize the relationship between the body and the object through movement.

Her latest collection, Les Jardins: On fait tous des fleurs pour s’empêcher de mourir, contains a summary of the early years of research.

The inspiration comes after Marie-Eve moved to Toronto, the biggest city in Canada. She started doing research about gardens and making a whole new body of work that is inspired by garden design. She is fascinated by how gardens can either represent the domestic space outside the walls of the house or act as a haven of peace outside the turmoil of a city.

She took certain elements that often sees in gardens such as the central fountain, juxtaposed squares and rectangles, circular and straight paths, etc.

The idea is to create garden design by juxtaposing enclosed spaces, like the different zones of a garden. Geometry and clean lines are symbols for control. Gardens are spaces that inspire peacefulness, safety and comfort. The artist thinks that it is interesting that we came up with gardens as a solution for controlling mastering nature.

In this collection she used paper because of its impermanence. The paper pieces will move around as person wear the jewels, perhaps fall off eventually and reveal the painting that is hidden behind them, this is part of the life of the piece.

Marie-Eve started by the concept that in a garden, we can control the way we organize plants and flowers, but we can’t always control what nature does inside the boundaries we set for it.

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