Dominique Rey’s handmade artist book is the source for many of the artworks in her solo exhibition, Under the Rose Arch.
Under the Rose Arch features a selection of lens-based work that documents Les Filles de la Croix, a disappearing order of Catholic nuns. Rey’s investigations into the order began in her hometown of Winnipeg, and have since taken her to Brazil, Argentina and France, where she captures the daily lives of the sisters. In photographs, sculpture assemblage and video, the artist represents the nuns through the spaces and objects that surround them, bringing the contemplative and devotional qualities of their world into visibility.
In the collages in her artist book, Rey gathers fragments of furniture, décor and personal objects meticulously excised from photographs of the convents she visited. Collage—the process of pulling apart and rebuilding—is a meditative practice for Rey, and an opportunity to reflect on her experience with the nuns. The collages are also a generative: they inspired Rey to create the three large-scale, experimental sculptures on view in Under the Rose Arch. Each sculpture is constructed of colour photographs mounted to clear, laser-cut acrylic pieces installed in overlapping layers that replicate the original collages. The fragility of these pristine structures parallels the precarious existence of the sisterhood itself. Furthermore, the mundane objects depicted in the collages and sculptures become, as Rey notes, “evidence of the detritus of life and the traces we leave behind, making visible a rapidly disappearing community that typically goes unseen.”
Dominique Rey is a Winnipeg-based artist. She holds a MFA from Bard College, NY (2007) and a MFA from Transart Institute in Berlin (2011). She is a multidisciplinary artist whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, with recent presentations in Miami, Lethbridge, Winnipeg, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary. Her work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Province of Manitoba and Wedge Collection.