Wendy-Alexina Vancol is a Haitian Canadian illustrator and painter based in her hometown of Montreal. Using her background in graphic novels, Vancol visualizes storylines through her paintings and creates works that cross the bounds between reality and fiction.
Since beginning her undergraduate studies in studio arts at Concordia University, Vancol was featured in numerous group exhibitions, publications and has been the recipient of the CUAA Fine Arts Prize competition (2021) and a finalist in the BMO First Art award (2021). Most recently, she completed her first solo exhibition at La Maison de la culture de NDG in Montreal.
Vancol's artistic process begins with observing those around her. Being the 4th child amongst her five siblings, Vancol has refined her skills in perception and has used that to muffle the noise that encompassed her childhood days.
Vancol learned to understand the nuances of her surroundings and break them down into three elements that highlight the notions of kinship, diaspora, memory, and identity.
The first element is 'Subject'. Vancol’s upbringing in a large black household is what fueled her to land her focus on black bodies. That constant exposure to black history has expanded Vancol's knowledge about her family history and her awareness of her presence as a black woman in the 21st century.
The second element is 'mannerism'. Through small details such as quirks and facial expressions, Vancol can read the unspoken emotions of her subjects and extract their unique features through exaggerated strokes and surrealist imagery.
Lastly, the most vital element is 'location'. Vancol believes in starting at the basics and using mundane locations ( i.e. bedrooms or kitchens) to frame the setting of the individuals and broaden the scope of their lives.
With those elements in place, Vancol then focuses her attention and curates unique, mind-bending visuals and a storyline that puts her underrepresented subjects in the spotlight.
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