Re-Woven, the first solo exhibition by PEI visual artist Renee Laprise, will be on view at the Gallery @ The Guild in Charlottetown from September 8 to October 3, with an opening reception on September 15 from 7–9 pm.
The exhibition will feature 12 new pieces that mark the evolution of the artist’s growth, both stylistically and thematically. Laprise makes use of bright bold colours and illustrative elements to build intricate worlds in which the viewer is invited to immerse themselves in her work. The narrative pieces each tell a story often inspired by the artist’s real-life experiences. Every painting is filled with symbolism, both in content and execution. Depending on the story being told, a butterfly may imply transformation or a bright green outline of seemingly unrelated elements may tie them together to symbolize vitality. The viewer is invited to look for clues like these to unlock the whole story of the piece.
Currently living on PEI, Laprise graduated from the University of Toronto/Sheridan College’s Art and Art History program. Originally influenced by the stylized craftwork of her Indigenous ancestors and a love of Romanesque illuminated manuscripts, Laprise has developed a style that is uniquely hers. After the passing of her parents in 2018, she painted large symbolic portraits to commemorate their lives. She credits these paintings with helping her find her voice as an artist.
Laprise has developed an intense interest in the interconnection of the physical and non-physical realms and it has become an underlying theme in all of her work. She believes that nature floats in and out between these two worlds. Her piece, The Crows Know, depicts the crows of Victoria Park doing just this.
Laprise’s love of PEI is evident in much of her work. Elements like foxes, moon snails, dunes and the ocean are part of its magic and that magic is infused in the work. Every painting becomes a love letter to the artist’s home.