With Marijke Boucher, Artist

Have you seen the beautiful bracelets and earrings at our Annex location? These are the work of local Toronto artist, Marijke Bouchier.

Marijke has worked with Innate on a number of creative design projects over the years. Beyond her design work and jewellery she also had a portfolio of fine arts work and is launching a new textile line! She will be showcasing her fine art work this year at the One of a Kind Show.

Marijke, tell us a bit about your journey as an artist.

That has the potential to be a very long-winded answer!  It’s been a pretty winding journey so far, with a lot of false starts.  But it’s hard to have any regrets about the wrong turns I’ve made, because I really don’t think I could have arrived where I am now, without all the experiences I’ve had, and I finally feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

I had always intended to work in academics, which is what originally brought me to Canada 11 years ago – I moved to Montreal in 2007 to complete my Masters of Fine Arts at Concordia University, with the hopes of either returning to New Zealand, or staying on in Canada to teach at a tertiary level.  But life had some contrary ideas, as it often does, so a few years ago I decided to start working as a painter and commercial illustrator instead.  I’ve launched a line of inclusive, sex positive greeting cards and art prints called Sexual Fruit, and next year I’ll be releasing a line of kooky, tropical textiles and homeware called Paradise is Nice.  I’m having a lot of fun with the work I’m doing right now, and I’m really happy that this is where I’ve landed with things.

What are the biggest influences on your artist’s style?

I think that’s a two part question – I have a lot on conceptual influences that I think greatly shape the spirit of my work, and the off-beat humour that often finds its way into a lot of the things I make.  And then there are some more purely aesthetic influences. It’s sometimes hard to place where inspiration comes from, because after three decades of passively and actively absorbing TV, movies, art, music, design, it all gets a little soupy – but a few names that come to mind are David Shirley, Martin Parr, Peaches, Barbara Kruger, Dali, Meret Oppenheim, Erwin Wurm…

You have a number of different projects on the go – what are you most excited about?

Textiles! Textiles! Textiles! I’ve recently finished sampling the first few designs of the textile and interiors line I’ll be launching next year and it makes me absolutely giddy with excitement.
It’s always kind of been a dream of mine to work with fashion or interiors – I minored in fashion during my undergraduate degree, and always felt a pull in that direction. But this feels like a very happy marriage between my fine art practice and something more tactile and utilitarian.  The line is going to be super fun and playful and oozing with color and kooky, kitschy, tropical, surrealist designs, and I CAN’T WAIT to really get rolling with it.

How would you describe the feeling behind your creations?

I think overall, there’s a light-hearted playfulness to a lot of the things I make.  The Sexual Fruit line has a slightly different tone to it, because the subject matter is a bit more pointed.  With that series the feeling is more one of celebration, permission, and female representation.

Where can people find your work or follow you?

If you want to come out and see me in person, I’ll be at this years One of a Kind show at Exhibition Place from Nov 22nd – Dec 2nd.  Or if you want to peruse my work online, you can find it at www.sexualfruit.com / www.marijkebouchier.com, or on Instagram at @marijkebouchier – lots of options!