Sylvie Roussel-Janssens' show 'Inspired by Light' opens Nov. 2 at the Chilliwack Art Gallery with an opening reception on Nov. 5. Pictured here is one of her pieces called 'El Viento'.

Celebration of light best seen in the dark

Sylvie Roussel-Janssens uses light sculptures to tell richly woven stories at her show opening next Wednesday in Chilliwack.

Artist Sylvie Roussel-Janssens uses light sculptures to tell richly woven stories with poetic words and the beauty of nature.

She has 36 works of art ready to go, and she’s pared that number down to about 30 for her new solo show opening in Chilliwack next Wednesday.

“I have to put them up to really see what works.”

Because of the emphasis on electrical light shining through fabric in her light boxes and sculptures, the gallery space has to be fairly dark to show the work at its best.

The Emily Carr grad and local member of the Chilliwack Artists’ Association is presenting, Inspired by Light, at the Chilliwack Art Gallery Nov. 2 to Dec. 5.

“It has a bit of everything,” she says. “Some of it is a hybrid between illustration and art.”

The show contains new work she’s recently created, and some from existing series, such as the one she did on trees or the botanical series.

“Words and nature were my mediums in this show,” says Roussel-Janssens. “I wanted to challenge myself to do something visual with words.

“Until now I was a little hesitant about using languages other than English. But I decided to go for it and ended up using three languages.”

Some pieces have evocative lines of poetry, like one in English from an Irish poet, French from a Haitian one and Spanish to highlight a Chilean poet — all from a show that opened in Montreal last year, called Text-iles.

One of the sculptures uses words from a poem by Pablo Neruda of Chile.

“He’s very coastal and very visual.”

One of her most recent pieces, Hope is a Thing With Feathers, with words from the Emily Dickinson poem: “Hope is the thing with feathers/ That perches in the soul /And sings the tune without the words /And never stops at all.”

Her passion for sculpture led her to explore different materials and techniques over the years.

The Montreal-born artist uses wire, polyester fabric, silver ink and electrical light in the beautiful piece inspired by Dickinson with a bird perched inside a human head, and poetry printed on the tendrils of hair.

“I use a lot of birds in my work,” she says. “This poem really inspired me.”

Sylvie Roussel-Janssens’ new show Inspired by Light runs from Nov. 2 to Dec. 8 with the opening artist’s reception on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 9201 Corbould Street, Wednesday to Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.

 

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