Catherine Boisvenue

Montréal, Canada


Catherine Boisvenue is a visual artist based in Montréal. In the winter of 2016, she participated in the Despina artist residency program, in Rio de Janeiro, and exhibited in the Saara night exhibition. Her work was selected for and exhibited in the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Salon d’Autonme d’Amérique latine in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2017, she participated in the UNPACK STUDIO residency program in Havana, Cuba. In Montréal, she gave a talk on her artistic approach at the Récit Nomade symposium, at UQÀM.

Catherine works with paint, involving research that dabbles in sculpture, installation and elements of performance art. Her aesthetic takes on aspects of surrealism, abstract expressionism and feminist art, without having any specific affiliations.

In 2017, she was the grateful recipient of the Harriet and Abe Gold Entrance Bursary and the Tom Hopkins Award. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Drawing and Painting, at Concordia University. In 2015, she obtained her Bachelor’s in Visual and Media Arts at UQÀM.

She is part of the 2018 ARTCH, Conseil des arts de Montréal, and Art Souterrain programming. She is preparing a solo exhibition that will open on October 4, 2018, at Galerie AVE in Montréal.

Artistic approach

I work with painting, involving research that also veers into sculpture and installation. My current project echoes the poetic narrations that I write, texts that are inspired by mythological, shamanistic and animistic universes. My works have the power to communicate and transform inner reality, and adopt the language of the unconscious to address both individual and collective memory and trauma.

Various rituals are involved in the creation process. Therefore, I paint repetitive motifs on the canvas, dominated by fluorescent pinks and pastel colours. The motifs are reminiscent of textiles, jewellery, voodoo talismans, or other bizarre objects, and represent magical ingredients that I bring together to concoct pictorial potions. I establish a chromatic code based on the subtle forces I wish to invoke, and on the effects I wish to obtain from them. Once it has been painted, I cut up the canvas and reassemble it into raw sculptural compositions, which I present in the form of interior and exterior installations. I thereby invoke powers, which I transfer to the work when I transform it. The new work then becomes a form of sorcery amulet.

My work fits into the surrealist and abstract expressionist movements, and has some connection to feminist movements, without specific affiliation. For the past few years, I have been exploring performance art, involving the creation of an environment in which the witch, warrior or bruja that I incarnate can be revealed.

I am a magician; I cast spells. To achieve this, I sew from rainy days until sunny days, and I connect glaciers to volcanoes. And if, perchance, monsters from the past awaken, I cut their tongues off with a knife to silence them.