Nikol Drouin: Images of I and I

On exhibit from April 9 - May 16

El Taller Latino Americano's Grady Alexis Gallery presents an exhibition of paintings by French Canadian artist Nikol Drouin.

With a style influenced by the cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean, her work is colorful, thoughtful, and emotional. The colors and images range from nature and natural forms to the urban and the man-made, with a focus on how the man-made mirrors the natural. "We are natural beings, though we mistakenly conceive of ourselves as separate from nature." This idea of oneness is echoed in the show's title with the Rastafarian expression "I and I," which is used in place of "we" and implies that all persons are united under the love of Jah (God).

Drouin's figurative, metaphorical images are viewable on multiple levels. She incorporates mythological or spiritual themes into some of her paintings, as in "Into Dark Waters", with its Narcissus-like figure falling into dark water littered with the word 'me'. She also comments on social issues, as in "Birth by Default," which depicts the unceremonious birth of a child into a modern world. "This woman is on the run," explains Drouin, "and the child is dropping into the dust, his head red with pain or anger." On art as social commentary, she muses, "Am I trying to make a difference? I don't know if you can make a difference, but you can certainly express concerns and people walking into a gallery will be made more sensitive and aware."

Nikol Drouin grew up in Ottawa, Canada and currently resides in Montreal. She is a graduate of York University's School of Fine Arts, where she studied with master printmakers Eugenio Tellez and Antonio Frasconi.

Veronica Aberham organized the exhibition and curates "Images of I and I".