Julie Ouellet's explorations are conducted within the expanded fields of drawing and painting, a research that the artist has considered for the past fifteen years as non-figurative and that deals with the line and its propensity to travel and wander. On the surface, without pressure, without precise orientation and without finality, the hand traces paths, establishes systems, encounters constraints, makes detours, arrives at dead ends and returns on its steps. A trace emerges from this trajectory: real networks of lines intermingled and piled up in a mass that seems inextricable. Through various experiments, Ouellet comes to set up voluntarily constraining and unpredictable tracing situations where the work of the hand, put under tension, oscillates between control and drift.
With strokes and lines, the artist weaves a reflection that asks questions about everything that revolves around the very act of drawing. The gesture is "straightforwardly" approached in a self-reflexive investment approach where the artist's attention and energies are directed to simultaneously produce and reflect on the drifts of the drawn line and of the mind in the creative activity. Thus questions arise: what dictates or influences the path of the hand led by a simple pencil? Is it the eye or the hand that observes and tries to reproduce what it sees? Is it the body which, through its feelings, animates and influences the mechanical gesture and which summons the hand to draw relentlessly?
Recent experiments in drawing the wilderness of Carillon Island represent a turning point for the artist by bringing out the notion of unpredictability in her practice. By following the rhythms of the landscape and the generous forest of the island and, in part, by a drawing made in situ - the gesture of drawing becomes disoriented, lost, surprised and revived at every moment.
Julie Ouellet lives and works in Montreal. Her work has been presented in several solo and group exhibitions in Montreal, Toronto and the United States.