MANITOWANING—The walls of the Debajehmujig Creation Centre in Manitowaning often see duty as an art gallery, being graced with the works of local artists, often in conjunction with other events taking place at the centre. This past week’s annual Seed Swap saw the abstract works of Metis artist Gabrielle Fournier of Wikwemikong.
Ms. Fournier, granddaughter of Rosemary Wakegijig of Wikwemikong, currently makes her home in Montreal while attending Concordia University to study business. She has been working in acrylic abstract for about three years now.
“I started about three years ago and people seemed to like what I was doing,” she said. She was offered the opportunity to display her works by fellow artist, and Debaj stalwart, Josh Peltier. “They were very, very supportive, especially of local artists,” said Ms. Fournier.
Her art was on display throughout the week and Ms. Fournier said that she was very pleasantly surprised by the feedback that she received. “I had expected some criticism,” she said, adding that she was even looking forward to some of it to help her grow and develop as an artist. Instead the response she received was almost universally positive.
Ms. Fournier said that she does not really have any artistic influences, having developed her style largely on her own. “I never really saw an artist in my style,” she laughed.
Her works typically display body parts, internal organs such as ventricals and other things you would normally have to look inside of a body to see, displayed with abstract lines in acrylic. “You have to really stand back to make it clear what it is you are looking at,” she said. “But when you step back, you can see it.”
Ms. Fournier is only 18-years-old, giving her plenty of time to develop her art and style. Although she is studying business instead of fine arts, she can see herself working in an artistic capacity in the future-perhaps as a graphic artist in advertising.
Ms. Fournier was originally born in Montreal and said she has a strong attachment to that city. “It is like its own little country,” she said. The cosmopolitan nature of the city, with a European feel that is more open and not as ostentatious or as haughty Quebec City tends to be.