Photo by Lindsay Eliott
On the visual journey through Rebecca Chaperon’s work we are repeatedly immersed in surreal versions of the world, places that waver just outside of our perception. Hovering crystals, palatial icebergs, secretive caves, and psychedelic gardens are some of the recurring motifs found in each of her painting series. Chaperon’s work shifts between treating the landscape as figurative representation or as highly symbolic spaces that hint at a mysterious narrative.
Chaperon was born in England in 1978 and graduated from Emily Carr University in 2002. Her work is exhibited and collected internationally and she is a two-time recipient of Canada Council Awards for her Antarticus and Cave Paintings series respectively. She has shown extensively in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, and has been included in exhibitions in Richmond (VA), Chicago (IL), San Fransisco and Los Angeles (CA). Her paintings are held by several private and corporate collections including TD Canada and Aritzia.
Her process often begins with the idea of place. In Like A Great Black Fire we see paintings of dark landscapes that seems to stretch infinitely, a doomed place invented by the artist as a theatrical stage where various protagonists bravely live out mysterious vignettes. Antarticus, inspired by the mid/late-20th century travel stories of her uncle and father, saw the amalgamation of two places, the tropical island of Mauritius and the icy tundra of the Antarctic.
In Eccentric Gardens the setting becomes a representation of the internal landscape of the artist, or more specifically the small brilliant garden of creativity that exists within. On the visual journey through Chaperon’s work we are immersed in surreal versions of the world, places that waver just outside of our perception.