Christine Blais is a multidisciplinary artist based in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. She is currently enrolled in the Portfolio Certificate Program at the Ottawa School of Art and holds a Masters of Arts in Film Studies from Carleton University (2013). She has been the recipient of the Lee Matasi Award as well as a best of show award during the OSA's 30th annual Holiday Fundraiser.
Throughout her undergraduate education at Queen’s University, she was actively involved in photojournalism holding the position of Assistant Photo Editor then Photo editor at the Queen’s University Journal. She was published in the Globe and Mail (2009) and completed internships at the Kingston Whig-Standard (2010), IFCO (Independent Filmmakers Cooperative of Ottawa) and at La Petite Mort Gallery (2013). Her background in photography and her affinity for sketching have played fundamental roles in shaping her vision with the encaustic medium.
In my work I explore the human condition by studying body language and the tension that exists within expressive gestures. The multilayered nature of nonverbal communication is rarely perceived in a conscious manner. In fact, within a split second, the human mind can transform a static image into a dynamic movement which conveys a vast amount of information on an intuitive level. I want viewers to feel the emotional tension in the figures I draw by evoking an affective physiological response.
I focus on the fragility of the human figure mainly to bring out the raw emotive status of the human condition in an uninhibited way. This uninhibited access provides further insight into the workings of body language and what it reveals about a person. I also represent the figure in a delicate way so as to juxtapose it with the chaos that surrounds it. I use colors and textures to create gestural shapes in rhythm with the figure so as to reflect the figure’s emotive state. The beeswax is soft and organic, symbolic of human skin, inflicting scratches and scars to demonstrate the imperfection of ‘being human’. This is my jumping off point to reflect on ideas that touch us on an individual and a societal scale. And it is with posture, gestures and eye contact that I can speak the loudest.