"In my work, I’m trying to portray the world through different codes of representation and iconography". As a collector Cecile Desmeules Harrison is creating series of paintings depicting figurative scenes which explores the problematic of representation in the media age. "My paintings are somewhere in between romantic tradition and contemporary figurative realism." By using the traditional oil technique of Glacis (glaze) and, by sourcing and representing pixelated images, the artist is doing a visual 'mise en abime" of what fine art painting has became in the contemporary age.
The eclectic motif of the imagery resonates with the observation of modern chaos. "Painting becomes an action of reaction. I see painting as a method of provoking emotional awareness by showing the everyday alienation of the senses". The scenes evoke concepts and feelings that the artists has observed and would like to communicate. She is using still images from digital videos or super 8 films as well as her own photographs to create a photo montage which she transposes into paintings.
The viewer won't be able to identify the persons or the places represented in Cecile Harrison's paintings as the method she used removes layers of definition in order to keep the essential, the 'impression'.
Memories, childhood, meditation, contrast, loneliness, past, absence, nostalgia, these are some of terms used to describe Cecile's paintings.
Three series were created. The titles groups the paintings around a common thread that depicts a concept. Cecile compares her series to a movie, with a title and a sequence of images, who placed next to each other, forms a story. The series or sequences are called Distances, Interiors, and Metaphors.
In the sequence called Distances, the paintings were made using media images from dramatic world events. With the use of a very cold smooth technique the artist highlights the habituation and therefore the emotional distance and duality we perceive from both fictional and real violent images.
In the second series called Interiors, she chose to step away from the choking effect of the previous series by entering into the contemplation of emptiness and banality of objects, interiors, and micro-events of the everyday life.
The third series reached a certain compromise between the two previous ones, through the use of metaphoric images, using different codes of representation and cultural political references.This sequence forms a collection of visual contemplation which contrasts with the constant flow of images from the digital world we live in.