We are happy to welcome the artist back to London with his new vibrant solo exhibition 'LEAVlNG AMBER'.
This new body of works is a step ahead in Yoakim Belanger’s work where the artist reinforces and takes on here his remarkably distinctive creation process technique.
The steel element is indeed more than ever at the core of the artist's work - a medium he has cherished for long - and rust being its main component.
LEAVING AMBER showcases an obvious dichotomy expressed in several ways - between the fragility of the rust and the strength of the steel, with the figurative features and the abstraction compositions, as well as with the use of painting creating deep texture effects alongside screen-print technique. All these combined elements merge in harmony to translate a profound desire of reconciliation rather than a division between paradoxes.
Within this new body of works, Yoakim claims his profound will to reinvent himself through steel as his medium of predilection using rust as a core element to emphasize on an artistic resurrection.
The creation process starts with each metal structure submitted to the Canadian extreme winter weather conditions, being left outside for several weeks. Through this stage the panels are allowewd to grow into unique objects where rust and damaged effects develop with no constraints and barriers, just being given away to the natural elements. The creative journey carries on when the artist physically engages himself into the transforming process in order to reveal the flesh of each framework. He lacerates the panels with powerful movements in order to crack and fragment the surface and this way gets into the underneath layers of the material, to its core in order to bring each piece to life, to make it breath.
Each artwork lies at the crossroad between abstraction and figuration. With the use of painting and screen-print techniques, Yoakim Belanger features body movements and facial expressions onto the flesh of each structure within the abstract composition. The figurative features have melted into the rust and scars to be inextricably linked to the medium and become as one and unique element. Through fragile and gracious movements and expressions, they try to elegantly extricate themselves from the structure they seem to have forever belonged to. Such as a prehistorical fossilized insect found after millions of years into an amber stone, the featured bodies and faces free themselves from their shell. Through a gracious mutation process depicting a beautiful choreography, they are LEAVING AMBER.