Diane Levesque

The world is filled with marvelous, fascinating, captivating, annoying and repulsive things. In contemporary culture, objects have become more than their advertised value. Indeed, objects have fallen into the realm of the fetish. Seeming to possess both magical and provocative powers, objects stir up an insatiable desire to repeat the alluring promise of ownership. This is not a new story, but it offers endless variations that I seek to explore in my work.
As far as stories go, I have always felt a connection to inanimate objects. As a child I watched my father, who practiced the fine art of taxidermy, transform dead animals into the facsimile of the living creatures they had once been. He had a natural skill to capture a frozen moment of a pheasant's flight, an attentive turn of a deer’s head, or the threatening snarl of a badger. Walking with my father in the woods, I perceived that everything was alive in some secret way that also invoked death. All things held momentous potential and terrible consequences.
My first consciousness of this sensitivity to things occurred when I watched the film The Wizard of Oz on TV when I was six years old. The Technicolor wonders of a dancing Scarecrow, a Tin Man that defied gravity as he moved, a cowardly lion, and nasty talking trees all confirmed what I believed; that behind the huge and incomprehensible world of the adults was the hidden world of things that the adults new nothing about. I soon became quite the storyteller and the creator of all sorts of imaginary worlds.
Consequently, the narrative structure in my paintings has evolved through many stages. The objects I depict function as screens for psychological projection. I often use the “cabinet of curiosity” as a model for the placement of the seemingly random array of objects. Within that model, the selection of each object follows the art of memory in which random things trigger associations to arise in the viewer’s mind.The turbulent relationship between the figure and the objects surrounding it is intentionally exaggerated.
The combination of reappearing motifs in my work allows objects to play out the dramas of the real and the imaginary. Through this process, I genuinely feel that to wrestle with meaning brings psychological insight while allowing the return to that magical world of make believe.