My artistic practice works both within and outside the conventional aspects of representational painting and drawing. Contemporary portraiture is often used to address the female ‘self’, where women’s identities are repurposed and re-imagined; this is an ongoing curiosity into multiple identities. While tracing the trajectory of the land I belong to versus the land I was born in, intersecting identities remain a consistent theme in my practice. In recent years my work has directed my attention to landscape. My current interests lie in the idea of ‘belonging’, as I examine my childhood, my place in the Lebanese diaspora and my relationship to the Canadian landscape; these subjects act as a point of departure. My latest body of work depicts site-specific areas from my childhood in the Maritimes through an idyllic lens. It was motivated by suburban and rural settings, and has manifested into a series that is dominated by selective memory. Informed by New Brunswick tourism catalogues and family photos, these chronicles speak as both a ‘tourist’ and a ‘resident’. I enjoy blurring the lines of lived versus dreamed experiences.
Landscape imagery has taken precedence in my work, and I am searching for new ways to integrate these themes into my practice. The Once Upon Water residency will allow me to continue my ideas by engaging with the environment on Toronto Island. I will focus on plein air charcoal drawings, studies on mylar and watercolours which will serve as inspiration for my next major series of paintings. This series will be shown in a solo exhibition at The Beaverbrook Art Gallery in 2019.
Chantal Khoury is a Lebanese Canadian originally born in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She holds a BFA with distinction from Concordia University and is based in Montreal (since 2006). She has exhibited widely, including a group exhibition at the Orillia Museum of Art & History and a solo at The Belgo Building. She has taught workshops at The Beaverbrook Art Gallery and has been featured in publications such as Akimbo Connects and Hyperallergic. Her work is found in permanent, public collections including The UNB Art Centre.