The three-dimensional work of Lakeview artist Anne Boudreau may appear fantastical at first glance. These fabric constructions seem to float in midair, suspended from transparent lines. But a closer look reveals familiar forms. Many are organic shapes inspired by nature, and some conjure more intimately human comparisons.
These suspended pieces sway at the slightest whim. How and where they are hung can greatly change their appearance and interpretation by viewers. Their gentle susceptibility to the world around them seems appropriately in sync with Boudreau’s own creative impulse. She’s driven by themes of balance, after all, and how the quest for equilibrium plays out in personal, cultural and even global realms.
A Gretna native, Boudreau studied photography at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she also got her first exposure to arts administration. After college, she was director of the Baton Rouge Gallery and went on to manage art spaces for others in the area. She describes herself as a “late bloomer” in making and showing her own art. It wasn’t until she returned to college at age 35 that her artistic pursuits truly began.
She enrolled in a graduate program at the University of South Carolina, where she says for the first time she found the space and the right environment to nurture her creative energy.
From her background in photography, she shifted to collage, which remains another important medium for her. But soon a new and defining thread entered her work.
“I started using fabric in the collage, which added texture,” Boudreau says. “Eventually I was using more and more of it, and it started jumping off the paper. That’s how the three-dimensional aspect evolved.”
Today, her pieces range from small, individual suspended objects to entire dangling installations. Some look as though they were plucked from a tropical garden of enormous proportions, with recurring themes of giant roots and stalks or petals and stamens. Others, though, seem to have been cultivated purely in Boudreau’s imagination. By turns whimsical, sensual or geometrical, they all prove tangible demonstrations of balance that lend a sense of grace to the environments around them.
Boudreau is currently in the midst of a three-month residency in South Carolina, working in a former textile mill that has been turned into an art space. Her new body of work under way there uses fabric creations to explore the outward representations made by garments.
For more examples of her work, go to anneboudreau.com.