Françoise Thibault is a Vancouver-based visual artist specializing in drawing, painting and performance.
She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Major in Painting and Photography) from the University of Moncton, New Brunswick, in 2007.
My art explores questions of subjectivity and objectivity, representation and projection, seeing and knowing. I’m fascinated by the un-crossable void that separates our inner awareness of self from the outer appearances and sensations of the world. I feel like the mind-filter of subjectivity doesn’t just interpret the world, it creates the world, each co-constructing the other, self and world, vision and knowledge. Images and representations—art, loosely—seem to me to be the best tools for exploring this act of reciprocal creation. I often wonder how it would be to see the world as it actually is, seeing it through the eyes of the world itself rather than through only mine. That desire doesn’t vanish just because you know it’s impossible! So I have lots of questions, lots of juxtapositions. I like to occupy both sides of an equation.
These interests span my artistic career. As a young student I discovered how my own self-portrait, put out into the world, could stare back at me and either thrill and inspire me, or terrify me—even destroy me. What power, for an image! Working more recently as an art model, I encounter many paintings of my face and body that are both intimate and alien, simultaneously me and not me. I affect them—by posing for and inspiring their artists—and they affect me, since seeing how you are seen changes you, reinvents you. I love the psychological intensity of the act of creating art, and try to make that—creating art—part of viewers’ experience of my own work, rather than just something I get to do privately before viewers enter the room. Today I’m as interested in art as active experience, in art-therapy and art-education, as I am in less participatory forms of art “engagement.”
In terms of media, I usually paint in acrylic, often in large formats, cartoon panels made portentous through scale. But I also like to experiment with drawing machines and other artistic inventions that influence how we traditionally think about art and its role in society.