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Living Is Easy Members Projects | Ysabelle Vautour | Bodies in Motion

May 9 – 25

Ysabelle Vautour’s practice varies in medium and subject matter, but often revolves around the connection between the physical navigation of space and the emotional experience of the world. Throughout Living Is Easy, she will be showing work from her recent series “Bodies in Motion”, created during a residency with the Fredericton Arts Alliance in August of 2022. This work brings together her passion for swing dancing with her ever-present advocacy for disability in art and society.

In this series of paintings she explores physicality, artistic motion, and human connection through dance. The mixed media paintings are bright and gestural, capturing movement, but also the energy within movement, with playful ease. Although many of the figures do not have fully articulated faces, smiles and light-hearted energy are palpable in the work. Additionally, the manner in which Vautour has depicted the presence of engaged joints, freely outstretched limbs, and swirling hair is immediately evocative of the spirit of swing music.

When dancers are depicted in art, they are often prepared for performance—Dégas’ ballerinas primped in their tutus, or more contemporary fine art prints depicting dancers poised and stylized against fanciful backgrounds. In each of these, the dancers are performing either to an audience or to the viewer of the artwork, or both. In Vautour’s pieces the joy inherent in dancing for the sake of dancing is abundantly clear. The subjects are not concerned with their audience, and their movement and its depiction are wholeheartedly authentic. Because of this, the works in the “Bodies in Motion” series succeed merrily in their efforts to celebrate the connection between dancers, as well as between body and soul.


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