By Bradley Turcotte
Highland Park resident and De La Salle high school arts student Audrey has multimedia works on display at the Dovercourt Recreation Centre through November.
Audrey describes the exposition as “an exploration of different emotions, revealing the inner parts of yourself.” The vernissage took place Oct 21.
Samples of Audrey’s work blend various styles from abstract to anime. Audrey says she draws inspiration from Matisse, Pollock and social-media-based artist Minnie Small.
“She has a following on Youtube,” Audrey, who goes by _perchai_ on Instagram, says of Small. “I have followed her for a couple years and the lines in her work, the subjects that she paints, even the landscapes she draws really inspire me. Especially the colours that she uses.”
There is a spiritual aspect to her own work, Audrey says, as she uses colours, textures and movement to describe emotions. Inspiration strikes like a divine vision, Audrey explains.
“It’s not intrinsically religious but sometimes, for example, with one of my paintings I was really struggling with it, to come up with (an) idea of the main subject for it. I really thought about it and one night I was just relaxing on the couch, closing my eyes and then suddenly I saw the subject of my painting and knew then that was what I needed to paint. That is what gives me the ideas for most of my paintings.”
Tracing her own interest in art to “drawing at the kitchen table much like any other kid,” Audrey then took art in school. The Highland Park teen realized it was more than a hobby when she would draw unrelated sketches in the margins of her homework assignments.
Now a student with a concentration in art at De La Salle high school, Audrey says her teachers have pushed her to “go further.”
“My teachers have made a great effort in trying to support me with my dreams and aspirations as an artist,” Audrey says. “They have really helped me go forth in discovering abstract art, pushing me forward with my painting. The art concentration pushes students to create more than they thought they could.”
Trish Stolte, Dovercourt’s director of customer experience, said Audrey’s art show is the first they have held since before the COVID-19 pandemic. She is encouraging people to drop by Dovercourt’s upstairs lobby to view the pieces of local art.
“We are excited to display the work of this talented young artist,” she said over email. “(It) demonstrates a variety of subjects, techniques and (media), from colourful, large-scale acrylic paintings to smaller watercolours and pencil studies.”
Next fall Audrey plans to travel to Florence, Italy to continue studying art. Her family is saving, helping her decide what school to attend and looking into what she can do for work while in the country that has produced artists like Da Vinci and Raphael.
“It is definitely something set in concrete,” Audrey says.