julie liger-belair

Fairy tales, legends, dreams and the surreal worlds they evoke have always been a part of the human experience; a way to make sense of our surroundings and explain our fears. As a child these captured my imagination, weaving themselves into the fabric of my personality. Because of this I am today a collector at heart, constantly collecting fragments of ideas and objects, each with their own little stories to tell. Combining them in different ways in assemblage pieces, they form new narratives and meanings.

I create mixed-media works using paint, wood, papier-mâché, polymer clay, metal and found objects. They often feature Victorian era photographs I’ve collected over the years, finding that these, in of themselves, evoke imagined histories and feelings of nostalgia. Their serious and stern faces provide an ironic counterpoint to the humour and levity I try to inject into the work. Alternatively, my pieces make evident a playful fascination with all forms of iconography, creating alter-pieces for everyday life, making sacred of the mundane.

In my latest work I’ve been attempting to combine these vernaculars – the ironic and the sacred – to tell a story about the disconnect between our private and public selves. That is, who we are is often at odds with what we project to others. What do we choose to reveal, conceal or fabricate? More importantly, I explore the toll exacted by this ‘duplicity:’ specifically the feelings of sorrow, resentment, anxiety and martyrdom it engenders.