Sylvie Toutain’s work has evolved from journeys, looking through windows at the traces and remnants of shuttered spaces and the thresholds in between. A psychologically liminal space.
Her practice aims to make apparent the unseen, giving life to a momentary perception and to able the viewer to stop and pause in the rush of life, allowing daydream wandering and contemplation in an abstract world.
The work in her drawings and paintings consists of lines, each having a form or set of rules and within those rules their own disruption. Process, scale, the weight of the line and the colour are all pre-decided systems. The composition of the drawings and paintings are constructed in a similar way to that of learning to write works, in a repetitive pattern. They are based on exercises done in books as a child, when it was imperative to be regular, to create perfect letters, to be able to write in a straight line with no guides. Consequently, the size and spacing within the page are all integral to the rules which are fundamentally to reduce signs and gestures and be minimally perfect in their expression.
Photographs work alongside the drawings and paintings; capturing moments in the present which rapidly become the past. In the process of developing a piece of work rules are applied. She layers multiple images taken whilst travelling and captures a fragment of time and place which is abstracted and reduced to a minimal core. Colour becomes saturated and ephemeral, faded through the lens of memory.
These Images rhythmically flutter in rapid succession almost creating a hypnosis and somewhere in our memory these abstract images Sylvie produces exist already.