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Rebecca Munce's depiction of archetypes

Photo of Rebecca Munce

Rebecca Munce deftly blends drawing and painting in her work that incorporates fantasy, symbolism, and archetypes. Munce graduated with a BFA from York University in Toronto and an MFA from Concordia University in Montreal—where she currently resides. Represented by McBride Contemporain, Munce's creations transcend traditional mediums by etching into oil paint, exploring the various dimensions of drawing. Themes of mythology, play, and magic transformation abound in the slightly abstract work that plays with symmetry and patterns to create compositions that resemble ancient textiles. Munce's distinctive palette acts as a gateway to an alternative reality, extending beyond everyday existence. The underlying essence of her work is a personal narrative that not only tells her story but connects with others, offering a glimpse into a world filled with imagination and shared understanding.

On archetypes. 

This work, Hidden Heart, is a reductive drawing, so it's drawn into oil pastel to reveal a line and the colour underneath that is placed first. Hidden Heart explores an archetype that I'm fairly used to using, which is a knight. It could be a soldier; it could be a cowboy. I enjoy these types of archetypes because I look at them as wanderers. I look at them as vessels of exploration, of adventure. In this particular image, we have a knight that has multiple arms. The idea of multiplying limbs, for me, is a form of transformation. It's a nod to various mythologies before it. One of the biggest things about the transformation of the body is its indication of what is happening within it. I like to think about fantastical creatures or happenings as the result of some inner transformation, something that got to the point where the internal had to be externalized through a change, multiple limbs, or a tail. Something had to grow; something had to occur. That's how I think about taking the human body and changing it. Change is always indicative of something. Hidden Heart Painting by Rebecca Munce

On process 

There will always be a personal connection when you're making the work, even if that's what you're trying to avoid.  I've always been interested in being able to express internal transformation in a way that I can see. We go through so much that isn't necessarily visible to other people. Making artwork allows me to see things I can't see. The internal transformations, the stuff that we all go through, and being able to see it visually and contained in an image.

I use oil sticks, and I typically do the same process for all of my images. I put down a field of colour, that colour can vary in places, and then covering that entirely with oil stick oil paint. I then draw into the surface, which reveals the colour underneath. So I have this approach that is both painting and drawing at the same time. 

On the painting Sun Plant

 One of the details about Sun Plant that I particularly like is that the work centers around this illuminated sun that is tucked into an extended lapel of the figure. It's being discovered by the figure at the same time. I like this idea of an adventurer, a knight who is travelling and looking for something and finds it under their nose.

This idea of discovery, finding a precious thing, is so common in many of the stories told in many mythologies. Many of these epic stories involve seeking something precious to the seeker. And the idea of going and travelling and looking and finding it on your person to me is quite I'm very attracted to that narrative.

Sun Plant painting by Rebecca MunceFollow Rebecca Munce on Peggy to stay current on available artwork and auctions. 

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