In summer 2014 I was invited to participate in, and help organize, a fundraiser for Imago Théâtre. Imago was looking for support for Artista, a mentorship program in which theatre professionals work with girls in underprivileged neighbourhoods in Montreal to develop self-confidence through creativity. The one-day event was held at the feminist gallery, La Centrale-Galerie Powerhouse, which has supported women in the art community since the 1970s.
The theme of the event was simply women and creativity. I responded to this theme via the word “imago,” particularly its psychoanalytic sense. An imago can be an idealized mental image of someone, often a parent, that influences a person’s life choices and behaviour (see http://www.thefreedictionary.com).
My paintings for ART(ista) in the Making consisted of a diptych and a small quartet, all acrylic on wood. Still inspired by my trip to New Zealand in 2013, and the spectacular vegetation and colours in the landscape I had seen there, I was also thinking of the most creative woman I have ever known, my mother, Rosalind Faith Souter, later Hammond. The paintings are meditations on the impact my mother had as an artist on all of her daughters. As an artist she certainly became an imago for me.
The paintings are in their own ways portraits of the women in my family, and their sometimes ambivalent, often beautiful journeys with their creative gifts and talents.
The quartet of paintings now belongs to the creative director of Imago Théâtre, Micheline Chevrier, and the diptych belongs to Imago Théâtre’s Artistic and Administrative Associate, Joy Ross-Jones.