Episodes / Ep. 88 - Maude Arsenault

88. Maude Arsenault


Get full access to all episodes. Subscribe today.

Maude Arsenault is a Canadian artist.

Episode 88: Maude Arsenault is a Canadian artist who’s former career was in fashion photography. Maude began at a very early age and was given a certain amount of liberal freedom from her parents who were ultimately very supportive of her interests and decisions in life. I like supportive family stories. I feel as though we tend to shovel in loads of assumed knowledge about the production of art and family backgrounds seem to be part of the general story and they do not always exhibit supportive characteristics.

I found out about Maude’s work through artist Clint Woodside, the energetic publisher of Deadbeat Club. He was kind enough to send me the book along with a few others for  review, which I will pen here in somewhat diminutive form for the concise aim of finding words to type before you hear our words to listen to. Maude was also announced last week of this year’s Hariban Award sponsored by the Benrido Atelier in Japan.

In this conversation we speak about Maude’s work, her family, and her background in both fashion photography and art history. We speak about her images and about her thoughts behind the work. We did take a moment to speak about a particular photograph of her daughter. It was a spirited and kind moment.

Entangled Book Review. DeadbeatClub 2019

Entangled by Maude Arsenault is a mysterious offering from the crew at Deadbeat Club. There is a quote from Virginia Wolf which kicks off the book and from there, it unfolds into a series of incredibly mysterious frames which oscillate between colour and monochrome. There are the bodies of women present pitted against gorgeously composed images of a wooded landscape or waterfall. These images, used sparingly offer an atmosphere outside of the interior views within the book, which are more plentiful.

The interior images create a haunting chiaroscuro lifted by the sumptuous offering of a colour photograph here and there-a women fixes her brazier in a few frames, a portrait of a teen girl looking sullenly at the camera punctuates the more intimate view of what is perceived to be Maude’s abstract self-portraits that show graceful alignments of legs, public hair all offset against a shadow which reminds one of early silent cinema-a medium that Maude is familiar with.

Throughout the book, one is left with the sense of the feminine. The world within emphasises the corporal-bodyscapes and lush peachy investigations of interior surfaces and reminds one of the peachy red flesh that appears on the bodies. Everything is pantone, reduced and clear of obstruction. The images of the pantone colour washes remind one of a painterly inclination-they abstract and blur and become something that extends the frame of photographic practice limiting the representational aspects of these particular frames. There is a clear and deliberate emphasis on the interpretation of the feminine as mentioned above. This refreshingly does not preclude on overwrought agenda or politicised form, but rather impinges meaning on the audience’s ability to reference a relative discourse and further conjure a heavy meditation on form and potential.

For the most part, Entangled is a keyhole on a semi-open door in which the glorious golden late summer light filters through the lace curtain and a leg can be sensed tussling out of the bed from a late afternoon nap while the perspiration runs down the side of the lemonade glass next to the bed leaving g a small elliptical watermark on a book underneath. Though too far away to read the title and without one desiring to give up their participation from the view point of the door, one can almost read the title ….”The Voyage….Out” in fuzzy letters under the direction of a ray of sun crossing the room to infinity. Highly Recommended.

Get full access to all episodes. Subscribe today.

Support this episode

Please consider supporting this episode by making a donation. Every donation goes to bringing more episodes to light.


Music: Algiers, with their full permission

Photograph Credit: Maude Aresenault
Editing: Adam Mead
Producer: Lucas Callaghan
Executive Producer: Brad Feuerhelm

Rights are reserved to Nearest Truth. No copies of this content is permitted without express permission from Brad Feuerhelm.

Sign up to the newsletter

Connect with us

Select an episode