Dominique Fortin’s latest exhibition, Mues, is an unwavering exploration of human nature. Her paintings are a "study of the soul through the use of mixed materials." Filled with raw emotion and romanticism, Fortin strives to represent the human spirit in a way that resonates with the inner conscience of her audience.
Since her last exhibition at the Thompson Landry Gallery in 2010, Fortin has undergone a profoundly introspective period that has proven fruitful. The stability she has found throughout this process has inspired a shift in her work from the dreamlike to the real. Her skillful balance between realism and abstraction, however, remains unchanged. She continues to enhance her imagery with textiles, gilding, image transfer, and written text.
Mues (French for “shed”) represents perpetual transformation, an ongoing process of skin changing. These old skins, which are sloughed off, serve as physical memories of one’s former self. By overcoming one’s fear of letting go of an old identity, and their resistance to change, breaking out of one’s shell represents the ritual of transformation in which one becomes a “higher being.”
In the same way that caterpillars transforms into butterflies when they break out of their chrysalis, so too do people transform through change.
The exhibition centers on several themes: metamorphosis, cycles, inconsistency and the lightness of life. For Fortin, butterflies and birds are deeply symbolic and evocative expressions of these themes. They symbolize this metamorphosis into a fully grown “higher being,” and the cyclical nature of life itself.
Fortin’s artistic practice initially focused on the innocent naiveté of childhood, and expressed a yearning to regain this paradise lost. Recently, her work has shifted towards the realities of life: the necessity of change for personal growth. Progression in Fortin’s personal life is echoed in her creative output; the essence of childhood is still tangible, but there is a newfound maturity in her figures. She bids farewell to this period, as she moves forward in her personal quest for inner peace.
Fortin finds inspiration in the ideals of optimistic perspectives, delightful aesthetics, and the constant redefinition of life. She is currently influenced by individuals who are self-aware, dedicated, and honest to themselves. With Mues, Dominique Fortin breaks open her chrysalis, and with a delightful optimism, reveals to the world the divine butterfly she has become.