AN ARTIST STATEMENT 2007
Structures and objects attract me by their geometry and tonal balance, the implicit but unexpressed history or significance of elements, and their relationship to myself and my own life experience. In my works on paper I attempt to evoke a history or deeper feeling than the sensual satisfaction than can be achieved by a well-balanced composition, by distilling the essential sentiment or atmosphere of a structure, environment or emotion and trying to elicit an innate response in the viewer. The work may stimulate the surfacing of formerly lost or forgotten sensory memories; or may provoke curiosity about before, after, who, what, when, where, why and how. The works essentially try to tack the subject to the now, while stating that the now is no more nor no less important than the past or the future.
I work predominantly in mixed media monochromes and organic colours, and use collage as a tonal underlay, an illustrative vehicle, or as an intrinsic expressive surface element essential to the pictorial grammar of my work. Layered compression and abstraction of space allows conceptual manipulation to suggest the building of memories, experiences and images, as well as technical construction and building of textures. Cognitive and structural dynamic tensions, synergies, sympathies and stresses are established by developing the interrelationships between form, shape, line, texture, colour and tone. I exploit these relationships to explore subliminal emotional responses.
My composite works are irrational. They emanate from a reservoir of sense that is barely pictorial, let alone verbal. The works originate with personal experience, and may sometimes operate as a cathartic exercise, yet at other times as an examination, expansion or explanation of a recently experienced emotional response. They evolve with minimal intervention from my conscious self, and express deep, raw, heartfelt but indefinable emotions or responses to personal situations, challenges or crises.
Rather than representing a particular time, place or event, I try to express enigmatic sensations, feelings and atmosphere. The works deal with the perceived and sensual rather than observed and conceived subject matter, and evoke sensations, feelings, emotions, and responses by the use and juxtaposition of texture, form, shape, image, line, tone and colour. To achieve this level of communication, recognisable images as well as organic shapes and evocative textures, colours or materials are used. The pictorial elements and essences stem from unconscious necessity, and have little literal or traditional symbolic relationship to the sentiment expressed.
Few people experience or interpret life or art in the same way. I do not expect, and possibly, do not even want, the viewer to understand or become familiar with my private emotional landscape, rather, I hope that people are stimulated by these works to individual and unique emotional sensations. If these works elicit an emotional response from the viewer, be it similar to that that I held while creating them, or not, the works have achieved as much as I could wish for.
2007 Michèle Devèze