Florence Giroux Gravel
Florence Giroux Gravel is a Canadian artist born in Montreal and raised in Beauce. She is the daughter of Suzanne Giroux, the artist who unlocked the secret behind the smile of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Florence currently lives and works in Quebec City. In 2013, she completed her bachelor’s degree in Art History at Laval University. Florence holds a master’s degree in Visual Arts and Art Sciences from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. In 2016, to complete her training, she received a scholarship (based on academic performance) to attend New York University (NYU) in Studio Art. Following exhibitions in Paris, New York and Quebec, this summer, her work will be displayed at the Musée Marius-Barbeau—a solo exhibition titled Transparence Chromatique. Also, this October and November, Florence will exhibit her work at the AVE Gallery (Montreal).
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Florence’s artistic approach is rooted in a quest for identity and a process of individuation of self. A spiritual quest that journeys through her memories, the passage of time and her transformations. Her artistic gesture is narrative, repetitive, possibly with a cathartic aim. Her practice is aligned with Kandinsky’s theory on how shapes and colours activate the process of contemplating the body and soul. She therefore places great emphasis on chromatic passages and rhythms by leveraging the depth of space and the materiality of shape and colour, while keeping things simple, sensible and gentle.
Perspective and movement play an essential role in breathing life into her creations. Her colour grading technique reflects that of Pointillism. The eye processes the optical illusion and mixes the colours of every one of the threads that she draws. The threads are both her pigments and fragments of individual and collective memories. Like a spider, or a monk creating a mandala, she obeys her instinct and lets herself be guided by her unconscious self. The threads’ fineness renders her installations almost intangible, as translucid skin would allow you to see the inner workings of the body. As in a choreography, she summons her threads into a dance. She plays with rhythm to generate musicality. She deconstructs light by overlapping and juxtaposing thin threads which create hallucinating optical illusions according to the movements of the viewer. She engages in a physical artistic process that could go on forever. Thus, time becomes a guiding thread throughout her work, as though experiencing synchronization in an unbounded and limitless space. Constantly immersed in a quest for light and deeply inspired by nature, which often provides her with answers to her questions related to optics and colour, she seeks to slide herself between the dimensions of the visible and the invisible.
She is vividly attracted to Art, Architecture and the Environment. She turns to architecture to create relationships between her work and the environment. She marks spatial boundaries by creating shells of sorts. She creates pieces that can be integrated into spaces where the extreme sensitivity of art blends seamlessly with architecture, without changing the space’s initial essence. Florence believes in a strong relationship in which Architecture and Art unite. A relationship that generates a special type of spatial and psychic perception.
The subtleness of the viewer’s experience, like a new experience of light, carries them into another reality, between the threads and their soul. In this space, the viewer’s eye is constantly wandering. Jumping from one thread to the next, transforming perceptual fields and progressively acclimatizing itself to unexpected wavelengths. These colourful settings are like candy to the eye, mirrors of the soul, and, by extension, a whole-body experience. Her goal is to light a spark within the viewer and allow them to experience a nomadic process around the artwork so it penetrates their personal meditative space, arousing unfamiliar emotions, instead of merely decoding the artist’s intention. Her wish is to reach deep down into the viewer’s memory and soul through unusual chromatic perceptions that will disturb their perception of reality.