CULTURE DAYS 2017 Community Project with artist NICOLE BAUBERGER

Abstracts inspired by Claude Tousignant and Rita Letendre
Created in a public drop-in workshop during Culture Days 2017

Unlikely Events Yukon organized a Chalk Art Festival in June of 2016. They asked me, Nicole Bauberger, to lead a workshop in chalk art. Okay I said, I’m not really a chalk artist, but I’ll do my best.
Looking at the beautiful boxes of 48 chalk pastels we were given to play with, I wondered about creating concentric circles of gradated colours with soft edges. This idea was kind of inspired by the beadwork I’d been learning to do, kind of inspired by the work of Claude Tousignant. The bright colours in the grey parking lot looked like a hole in the world.

I had been exposed to Claude Tousignant’s work in Montréal. He was one of the Plasticiens in that city, and in 1962 began making circular paintings, with concentric rings of hard-edged colour painted on them. To look at them is to experience a particular vibration of those colours against each other.

The summer of 2016 I saw a Rita Letendre painting in Québec City and fell in love. I went to see her show at the Art Gallery of Ontario in September of 2017. Letendre’s work draws from many of the same influences as Tousignant’s.

So when I was asked to dream up a drop-in workshop, these influences came together. I offered Letendre’s trademark long thin triangles with lines of intense colours beside them, and Tousignant’s concentric circles, as well as chalk pastels and old grey weathered wood from my backyard.

This is what we made together.

The first concentric circle chalk drawing created during the Chalk Art Festival organized by Unlikely Events Yukon.