What would your inner creative realm look like?

Can you picture it?

Would it be populated with other inspiring creative types who energize you? Perhaps your imagination kingdom is a quiet and calm atmosphere of reflection, or maybe, it is just the opposite; a place of chaos and nonsense where you can constantly explore and be surprised.

Last week VIA visited Initial Gallery and conversed with artist Rebecca Chaperon about her exhibition entitled Eccentric Gardens. Chaperon’s painting exhibition is a complex visulisation of her inner sanctum.  These painted gardens form the pulse of her perception within the world, or shall we say worlds, that she inhabits.

Within the constructs of this exhibition her painting has jumped off of the canvas and into the third dimension. Obelisks, portals, and undulating rainbows extend out into the space, further deepening the immersive experience of entering into this mercurial world.  The scale of these objects in relationship to the body connects in a profound affective manner.

The ethereal rainbow, a symbol incorporated into several of Chaperon’s paintings in the show, also physically manifests itself in the space as a dense beam projecting vibrant pastel strips of blue, pink yellow, green and purple. These rays push out into the floor and wall, perhaps one could even perceive them as pushing through the wall and floor. The girth of this wavy band is physically felt, this rainbow is rock solid and not going anywhere. Transience and lightness of being are denied, the juxtaposition of the rainbow as a fleeting cypher of light with that of the rainbow as a compacted unshakable and grounded entity serves as a reflection on creativity itself.  Moments of creativity strike unmistakeably, like a lightning bolt or shock to the system.

There is a concrete vividness and strength to these burst much like Chaperon’s sculptural rainbow. These productive moments, as fast as they come, also disappear, floating away into nothing. Several of the rainbows reflected in Chaperon’s paintings have this ephemeral quality as they waver through the gardens.

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The obelisk is another object that Chaperon has brought into the third dimension, it stands guard over the entrance of the exhibition. Its companions, a portal and iceberg.  A common thread running throughout this exhibition is that of the interconnection between grounded presence and fleeting time and space. It would seem that what is most important to the artist is the movement between these things.

Chaperon has expertly crafted the rhythm of viewing the exhibition to push and pull the viewer in and out of their thoughts, their personal physical awareness, and their dreams. This is done through repetition of symbols and text, high contrasts in colours and the shifts between painting and sculpture and installation.

Any of the three text based panels would also make sublime alternates as titles for this exhibition. She collaborated with poet Hannah Stephenson aka The Storialist. The prose are transformative in nature, simultaneously provoking outward and inward reflection and turning visitors into interlocutors who interpret the space between multiple worlds.

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You Were A Portal Once, a statement that suggests the past but the painting shifts the viewer between states of understanding. Within the painting it feels as though one is stuck in an in-between space looking out to a world or back at a world they were once in, whether they are coming or going is ambiguous. The painting is activated entirely with the carefully chosen word: you.

Chaperon has intended to present her own creative origin to visitors yet the results of the narrative she has constructed offers a multitude of entry points to jump into or out of.  This enables visitors to shift between the present, the future, their memory and perhaps through surrealism – to even glimpse at the sub-conscious.

Eccentric Gardens is on at Initial Gallery until November 15th. The gallery is open daily 12noon – 6pm.

For more information on Rebecca Chaperon and her work visit:

For more information on Hannah Stephenson visit:

Eccentric Gardens – Rebecca Chaperon

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Initial Gallery – 2339 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3G3