VOICE OF THE GALLERY
Harcourt House is a place of connections. The gallery and its exhibitions connect our community with new artists and fresh ideas, giving us an inspiring place to meet and interact. The openings, workshops and classes connect artists with each other and with their own unique creative goals.
As the Artist in Residence, I have experienced firsthand the amazing opportunities for connection available to us all at Harcourt. As my year long residency nears its halfway point, I am able to take stock and as always, am incredibly thankful. The gift of time and space has allowed me to delve deeply into my materials and discover new aspects of my concept.
My work centers on the idea of healing and rebuilding one’s life after hardship. I present art itself as a means to this purpose. The need to rebuild my life became a necessity after the death of my son in 2010. While our struggles are all different, I believe most of us have experienced challenges to which we must rally our strength and work towards finding healing and peace.
What is the material that resonates with me in this current body of work? The answer is wood. I am creating sculptural and abstracted forests and cities of out of small cuts of wood; some perch delicately upon tree stumps and others are constructed on birch panels that seem to grow off the wall fighting their 2D constraints.
As an artist and human, I am working on allowing myself authentic responses to my experiences. What this means for my artwork is that, in the midst of creation, I do not judge my process or choices or even the next step. I choose to react intuitively and follow my curiosities without worry or regard for the nagging voice that says I should be focusing on this or on that.
The result of this authentic approach is the temporary hold I have placed on my acrylic painting that I had planned to accompany my sculptures. I am so compelled by my woodwork that I am following that urge and seeing where it takes me. It’s a freeing experience!
This freedom has allowed me to make new connections within my artwork and concept. I feel my exhibition at the end of my residency will be rich and visually engaging because of this creative exploration and indulgence of curiosity.
I would like to thank all the staff at Harcourt and everyone I have met in the studios and at the openings for welcoming me so warmly into the community here. If you are reading this and have not yet connected with everyone at Harcourt House, I invite you to do so. Please find me at the openings and say hi. I always love visitors to my studio so get in touch and pop over to the Annex. I look forward to connecting with you.
Alexis Marie Chute
Artist in Residence, Harcourt House Artist Run Centre