Sunday 5/29/16 time 10:25 AM - interviewed by Terhi Dahlgren



photo by Marie Desoubeaux

Gabrielle Vigneault-Gendron, 24, Canadian

Background as an artist:

I started to be seriously interested in visual arts towards the end of High School so when I was about 15 years old. Before that, I played piano and clarinet at my school orchestra and then the Wind Ensemble of Montreal. I was also very interested in creative writing before I really got into visual arts. I finished my B.F.A in Painting and Drawing at Concordia University in Montreal in 2014 with a minor in Film Studies.  I’ve exhibited my work mostly in collective shows in Quebec city and Montreal. I went to an artist residency in Iceland in March and April 2016 where I was able to compose music for my latest film and start my latest drawing series which I completed here in Joutsa. I am currently studying Film Production at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. I should complete this degree in April 2017.

How did you end up choosing your media? Best/worst sides of it?

I don’t know if I have chosen a media yet. I guess if you look at the tendencies in my portfolio, my main mediums would be both oil painting and filmmaking. Oil painting is definitely my favorite type of painting, I don’t think I will be able to go back to acrylic. Its ability to dry slowly allows you to do and discover so many things about colour. The medium itself feels alive, I really enjoy working with it. Of course this aspect does have its downside. It is a bit tricky to transport because it is never really dry. It is also a very costly material compared to pencil drawing and it is also very toxic. I always have one window at least slightly open when I paint to get air circulation, even when it’s - 30 degree celsius outside. I bring a lot of vests to my studio then!

Film is great because it combines so many art forms. It is also one of the newest art form and so I feel there are so many things to discover about the medium still. But it is also a very costly media  and the business surrounding it is very complex and competitive. It can feel very overwhelming at times.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

I don’t think I would really see myself doing anything else. I find that creating something really gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride. I like being able to communicate in that way and seeing other artist communicate beautiful things in different ways. But it does make you question yourself and your work constantly. The uncertainty can definitely become very tricky to deal with.

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?

Yes! I knew it would be very peaceful and that there would be a big presence of nature. I was not disappointed in the beautiful forests and landscapes of Finland.

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency? 

Meeting new people and new artists from all over the world is definitely one of the best perks. I also enjoy being able to work on my art full time. This change of scenery really allows you to think things through and to get your art practice in order.

So far, all my expectations were met. I have met some terrific people and artists which are not only fun to hang out with, but are also very inspiring. The residency is wonderful in the sense that it gives you a lot of time and space to work on your artistic practice. I wanted to work more on the drawing series I had started in Iceland and thanks to the Haihatus facilities I was able to do that. All the activities I can do here also allowed me to take a step back and get various perspectives on things.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

I will get back to Montreal when my residency ends. When I got to Joutsa, I found myself very inspired by the giant trees and the gorgeous forests. At first it gave me an idea for a video installation, but during my residency, I transformed the idea into a potential painting series. In Haihatus, I worked a lot on digital sketches for this series and when I’ll get back to my studio in Montreal I will be able to start working on the actual oil paintings.


7/4/18 8:51 AM  Ankita

I started to be seriously interested in visual arts towards the end of School. I wanted to work more on the drawing series so i join BIyani Group of College

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