Cow re­turns to MBAS

Stanstead Journal - - LENNOXVILLE NEWS - Sher­brooke

ÉloïseBrodeur’s repet­i­tive use of the cow in­vites the vis­i­tor to a de­bate. She cer­tainly calls into ques­tion the way our so­ci­ety func­tions, our meth­ods of con­sump­tion, abun­dance, ex­cess, over­pro­duc­tion and as well as the his­tor­i­cal do­mes­ti­ca­tion of the an­i­mal. She also re­flects her sub­ject’s calm and equa­nim­ity by us­ing an al­most mono­chrome pal­ette. The empti­ness or open spa­ces, that sur­rounds the sub­ject, brings bal­ance and calls for seren­ity and in­tro­spec­tion in the viewer.

The cow is a pow­er­ful archetype, a sa­cred an­i­mal whose traces can be found in early Egyp­tian mythol­ogy. Sym­bol­i­cally, it can rep­re­sent a ray of sun; spir­i­tu­ally, it in­di­cates in­te­rior il­lu­mi­na­tion. In an­cient Egypt, Hathor, sym­bol­ized by the cow, reigned over the primeval ocean, the av­enue of re­birth. Its main at­tribute was its crown: a so­lar disc car­ried be­tween its horns. In the an­cient texts, we dis­cover that it was the pos­ses­sor of creative pow­ers, pro­mot­ing all forms of life whether plant, an­i­mal, or hu­man, and was con­sid­ered to be the god­dess of joy, love, dance, and artis­tic cre­ation. Artists in large num­bers came to the tem­ple of Hathor to find in­spi­ra­tion.

For Éloïse Brodeur, her in­ter­est is not in the cow it­self, but in our re­ac­tion to it. Her metic­u­lous brush chal­lenges us to see the or­di­nary in a new way, to take the open spa­ces and fill them as we de­sire: per­haps a new per­spec­tive might emerge. Whether it is alone or in the midst of a herd, each of Éloïse’s cows em­anates soli­tude and peace. Per­haps this ex­plains why the artist, her­self slen­der and full of en­ergy, finds in these paint­ings “a space for re­flec­tion, a har­bour of calm in a world ded­i­cated to over-con­sump­tion and per­pet­ual mo­tion”.

Éloïse Brodeur grad­u­ated from Con­cor­dia Univer­sity in Mon­treal and re­ceived var­i­ous awards and schol­ar­ships for her art­work. Brodeur also had the op­por­tu­nity of at­tend­ing ad­vanced draw­ing work­shops in Um­bria, Italy

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