Eve Damie Fine Arts
This Text was written for Eve Damie’s Works as part of a 3 Artist Group Exhibition
December 12, 1998 to January 10, 1999
Maison des Artistes de Laval
1395 boul. de Ia Concorde West, Laval
French Text © 1998 By Ariane Dubois
Exhibition Coordinator, Salle ALFRED-PELLAN
English Translation © 1999 By Alan Smith, Altexte Montréal
English Editing © 2009 Howard Damie
Eve Damie's art expresses her individuality through a universal language whose source is inexhaustible. Find something lost, reassemble whatever has been gathered, create something imagined: such gestures help define Damie’s activities. Naturally curious and determined to discover what chance might offer, she rakes through our city's lanes in search of whatever is destined to become the skeleton, muscles, and organs of her embryonic ideas. Thus her meticulously superimposed, iridescent colours conceal, much to the gallery goer's surprise, parts from an old, abandoned chair and like objects.
Grafting plates, bowls, and worn frames to furniture rungs, Damie resuscitates their souls and effects a metamorphosis. The noble gesture of this alchemy perpetuates their life. “When I paint these found objects, I often feel that I’m an archaeologist discovering or reinventing a lost relic. When I plunge my imagination into colours, endangered and disappearing species or mythical families from the past, present, and future come forth. Treasures and dying ecosystems are reborn."
The works assembled for Damie's exhibition, which come from a series entitled Alchemy of the Object: The Animal Ark, fall under the theme of looking for paradise. The Zebra Prince, The Rainbow Cat, The Turtle, The Great Bear Bird, and the other members of Damie's arked menagerie are the survivors of a consumer society that puts the animal world at risk. Damie forces us to examine our conscience and resist seductive fantasy. “Using animals as a reference point, I want to reinstate the natural equilibrium of a planet that's really out of kilter.”
Damie's meticulous and refined technique is a form of iconography that dignifies and sacralizes images through adornment. Jewels and royal ornaments beautifully dress up her animals, suggesting their glorification as mystical or sacred beings. Each animal, however, remains unique thanks to the complexity and multi-dimensionality of Damie's collage technique. The Male Bird, a body decorated with string instruments, makes himself heard through a beautiful serenade that pays homage to the observer. The Marked Seeker's antenna feels for a way to reach some dream or desire and invites you to follow along.
If one day looking out your window you notice a stranger carrying away objects that you've just thrown out, you just might be participating in a wonderful, creative adventure that perpetuates the transient through the immortality of art. It’s just a matter of believing.