ÉLAINE DESPINS /// PRÉSENCE / ÉMERGENCE
Presence / Emergence is a series of large format oil paintings giving full presence to the human body. Suspended in the upper part of the painting against an absolute black setting, these horizontal nude backs act as a poetic metaphor from which emanate both our strength as well as the more vulnerable aspect of ourselves. In the bottom part of the painting, a small face emerges, barely visible, almost like an apparition, gazing at the viewer.
A parallel series of small square paintings echoes what we see in the lower part of the large format oils. This series constitutes the artist’s visual exploration of the experience of sensing the body from within. It is this exploration that leads the artist to question the imperious quality and depth of what is perceived visually. What interests her is the gap between what is seen and what is felt. This rift calls into question the primacy, even the veracity, of sight. Through the felt sense, the body is perceived from within like a fluid mass, a space with indefinite boundaries. The concerns of this artist are not narrative, contextual or psychological. Rather, she seeks to throw into question our preconceived ideas and beliefs about the representation of the human body and to solicit the senses in a new way. Her painting is a way of reflecting a world that is complex, touching and fundamentally paradoxical.
☁ ÉLAINE DESPINS