Mélanie Rocan

Bokeh

new paintings
October 8 - November 6, 2021

Bokeh
Bokeh
Captured
Bokeh
See through
Camouflage
Bokeh
Bokeh
Bokeh
Bokeh
Tangled Lights
Bokeh
Stripes
Rusted Sky
Bokeh
Life Force
Bokeh
Stained glass
Bokeh
Tattered curtains
Bokeh
Ovnis, UFO
Bokeh
Bokeh
Golden Wheat
Bokeh
Gold Leaf
Bokeh

Bokeh

Bokeh, 2021
installation view

"The ideas and themes in my paintings often spark from dark emotional states. This is the reality of the world we live in. There is a lot of fear and apprehension arising from injustices, and I want to explore how this affects human consciousness.

In order to enjoy living in this world, we need to face the darkness and be able to grow and to experience pleasure. During this particular time, it was important for me to create a body of work that focuses on overcoming the shadows of difficulty and grief, finding a balance between the light and the dark and allowing garishness to coexist with sensitivity.

Bokeh is the visual effect of the out of focus, blurred quality of the image, which for me is a metaphor for the way I see the future: a hazy vision where something is not clear. This effect, which could have a negative connotation, has actually forced me to live day by day and appreciate the simple things that life has to offer.

In this work I focus on light reflections and patterns, which are symbolic of the spiritual transformation of one's inner reflections and meditative visions. I wanted to contemplate nature’s simultaneous complexity and simplicity, how our eyes adjust to detail and light, the limitations of the physical realm and how inner reflection leads to inner silence. I want my work to reflect this struggle."

— Mélanie Rocan



MÉLANIE ROCAN (b. 1980, La Broquerie, MB) is a Franco-Manitoban artist. She has a BFA from the University of Manitoba (2003) and an MFA from the University of Concordia in Montreal (2008). Rocan says, "During the making of the work there is a constant shifting between building and re-building within the framework of memory, allowing for new territory to be explored. I often let the painting linger between movement and stillness, and this is captured in the final product. I am also mindful of contradictions, which I find interesting — the dualities that are in constant flux, the oppositions and harmonies within the human condition. There exists a dichotomy between the inner emotional condition and the psychological unease with the environment depicted in the paintings."

Rocan is a three-time semi-finalist in the RBC Painting Competition. In 2012 – 2013 her work was the subject of a survey exhibition, Souvenir involuntaire, organized by the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. This exhibition toured to the Kenderdine Art Gallery at the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, SK) and Plug-In ICA (Winnipeg, MB). The bilingual catalogue includes an essay by Josée Drouin-Brisebois. Rocan is the recipient of awards and grants from the Canada Council, Manitoba and Winnipeg Arts Council. Her work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions; Crossing Natures at Tom Thomson Gallery in Owen Sound in 2016, My Winnipeg, at La Maison Rouge, in Paris and Carte Blanche painting survey at MOCCA Toronto in 2008. Collections include the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston, ON), Winnipeg Art Gallery, Doris McCarthy Gallery (Toronto), TD Bank (Toronto), RBC (Toronto) and the Manitoba Arts Council. Rocan teaches at the University of Manitoba.