Local artist VooV currently has a very special collection within Le Chenail Cultural Centre’s gallery, in Hawkesbury.

This collection is particularly thought-provoking and asks the curious (literally) if they will be counted among those who let perception rule their judgement.

The thought-provoking aspect is due to the sexual nature of many pieces that, according to the artist, represent trials undergone and demons overcome.

Two of VooV’s latest pieces: ‘Fog’ (on the left) and ‘Esprit Étranger’ (on the right).

“There are sexual and pornographic elements to certain pieces and since not everyone is comfortable with their sexuality… Some will see the art past it and some won’t,” said artist Geneviève ‘VooV’ Châtelain.

VooV added that while to provoke or to shock are not her goals, it doesn’t bother her if it ends up being the case. For her, it was all worth it.

“All these pieces represent a piece of myself that I want to change. They’re things that have been at the forefront of my mind for a while. This expo is the result of some much-needed introspection.”

With the exception of two pieces, all of the exposed paintings are very recent, having been created between January and May 2018.

For a cause

As with their last joint venture, VooV and her sister (and manager) Émilie Châtelain unite behind the cause of mental health.

“Any money made during the expo goes to Gen and the HGH Foundation. The Chenail said they wouldn’t take anything, which is very generous,” said Émilie Châtelain.

The last time the sisters joined forces was on April 13, 2018, at a packed Déjà Vu in Hawkesbury for a fundraiser-auction aimed at breaking mental health stigmas while amassing funds for the HGH Foundation (see Review articles “Volunteers dedicate time, art and talent to improving mental health services” and “Breaking the stigma on mental health through art and passion”, published on March 19, 2018 and April 16, 2018, respectively).

VooV’s current works were at Le Chenail until June 10, but anyone interested in meeting the local artist will have other occasions soon enough.

“We’ll be at Cyclo Tourisme in Plantagenet on July 1st to give painting workshops. In August, we’ll be shooting part two of the Cogeco documentary ‘L’art avec VooV’,” said Émilie Châtelain.

La chorale de l’amitié showed up to give a concert at the vernissage with over 20 singers and 45 minutes of material.

A helping hand

Organizing the event was done with the help of many organizations, including Le Chenail, la Chorale de l’amitié and, last but not least, La voix de la communauté – an organization that acts as the bridge between mental health service providers and members of the community.

If mental health is a topic close to your heart and you’ve been looking for a way to help out, the community organization is currently looking to recruit. Anyone interested in helping (in any way) can contact Émilie Châtelain directly at [email protected].