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TREASURE HUNT, an exhibition by Brooke Cormier – May 5-30

TREASURE HUNT, an exhibition by Brooke Cormier May 5-30

Foreword by Sebastian Macdonald

Photographed on film by Daniel Huszar

Brooke Cormier (She/Her) is a self taught Canadian artist based out of Toronto, Ontario. After graduating from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 2016, Cormier began painting full time with the guidance of her mentor, Tim Packer. Since pursuing art professionally, Cormier’s work has found homes in public and private collections worldwide.

Her new series Treasure Hunt is exhibiting at Youthful Vengeance from May 5th to 31st. This work consists of twelve framed prints, each of an original painting from the series. Representing her first gallery showcase in over six years, Treasure Hunt stands as a notable departure from Cormier’s previous work, taking her paintings in a more experimental direction which hasn’t been explored by the artist before.

Cormier spent her childhood in nature. Exploring the forests behind her grandparents cottage and mushroom hunting with her sister were amongst one of her favourite activities. These experiences in the great outdoors provided her with a rich tapestry of inspiration which continues to develop and shape her artistic vision today.

Cormier’s passion for nature and exploration is seen all throughout her artwork. She specializes in realistic oil paintings, experimenting with a variety of subject matter, media and stylistic techniques. For her upcoming exhibit, Treasure Hunt, Cormier is further expanding her creative output and delving into abstract artwork. Cormier blends abstract with her traditional style of realism by incorporating a keystone forest organism: the mushroom. In Treasure Hunt, mushrooms painted in Cormier’s realistic style grow out of contorting colourful shapes and lines, presenting the viewer with their own psychedelic abstract forest of fungi, and invites viewers to embark on a visual journey that blurs the line between reality and imagination. The thoughtful combination of styles within Treasure Hunt see’s Cormier breaking new ground and exploring fresh territory as an artist. At the same time, this series challenges the viewer and their preconceived notions of what her art is and what Cormier stands for as an artist herself.

Artistic exploration and development rarely occurs without dispute, and Cormier’s new collection and work has fallen under a certain level of scrutiny. When she began working on Treasure Hunt in early 2022, Cormier found her style shift was somewhat polarizing amongst her audience. Some were intrigued and refreshed by the change while others were disappointed to see that her style had evolved. This initial reaction made Cormier trepidatious about potentially losing her audience and customers. This resulted in Cormier taking a step back from the series to focus on her existing style of artwork and painting.

Towards the end of 2023, Cormier decided that the exploring the abstract was something she didn’t want to leave behind, and she returned to Treasure Hunt. The time off the series allowed her to pursue this new style with confidence and assurance, rejecting previous critiques to focus solely on the work. As a result, Cormier found freedom in her creativity and her artistic explorations without her subconscious being distracted by the background noise of expectations. Cormier’s willingness to embrace artistic experimentation and defy audience expectations speaks to her resilience as an artist. By prioritizing creative freedom over external validation, Cormier continues to push the boundaries of her artistry and inspires others to embrace forward change and self-expression.

Today, Cormier continues to evolve as an artist, combining her historic inspiration from the vibrant, natural world around her with new avenues of expressing her artistry. Her journey as an artist is a reminder that creativity knows no bounds, and that true artistic expression lies in the courage to embrace the unknown. As she continues to chart her course through the ever-changing landscape of the art world, one thing remains certain: the spirit of exploration that drives her will always lead to new and exciting destinations. 

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