Wondering about the amazing art on the cover of Colony? Meet the artist, the fantastic Aimée Henny Brown!
I first spotted Aimée’s work at the Remington Studio (108 East Hastings St., Vancouver) back in November 2016. I was just getting into writing the first draft of Colony and the timing couldn’t have been better. I was immediately smitten. The pieces have this eerie dystopian quality; a kind of emptiness and sense of abandoned civilisation. And yet, they’re stunning, beautiful, painstakingly put-together pieces that draw you in.
When I saw the incredible collage Futur Anterieur I, I wanted to snap it up there and then. Sadly, this writer’s budget doesn’t quite stretch that far. So, instead, I filed it away and kept thinking back to it while I finished the first draft (and the second, third, fourth, and fifth!). Eventually, I got in touch with Aimée to negotiate use of the piece for the cover of Colony. When she said yes, I was ecstatic!
So, who is Aimée and what inspires her to make these collages?
Aimée describes her artistic endeavours as engaging with “archives, research and printed matter to place historical content within her contemporary visual art practice”. She’s project-based, and works with printed matter to create “flat, sculptural, and performative” pieces. She just completed a huge mural at a co-working space in Vancouver, where the collage positively springs from the wall! Go get a hot-desk and see it for yourself.
For me, Aimée’s use of archival and contemporary images creates an almost surreal, desolate feeling of lost civilisation, at least in the Futur series. Aimée herself says that her use of archives, documents, text-based media and instructions “are often activated through interdisciplinary applications, initiating a liminal space where print and paper transcend their materiality”. She describes the creation of “the sensorial slipping-space between the definitions of a word”, which I love! Sensorial slipping-space seems like just my kind of thing (and possibly the name of a future punk band).
How did Aimée get to where she is today? And where is that exactly?
Born and raised in Western Canada, Aimée has an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from the University of Alberta, and a Masters in Fine and Media Arts from NSCAD University. She has amassed a whole heap of awards for her art and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, with group shows in Germany, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. She’s also gone through open-ocean survival training…
Speaking of which, In an interview with Tara Galuska, Aimée says that “Some of the most amazing projects and experiences that have been part of my studio practice resulted from being true to my gut instincts and being very tenacious about the realization of weird ideas”. I’m all about the tenacious pursuit of weird ideas. An artist after my own heart, Aimée also describes herself as a “research hound, a skeptical survivalist, [and] an archives nut”.
Aimée was the 2014-15 artist in residence with the Kent Harrison Arts Council in British Columbia and is non-regular faculty at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Her home studio is in Vancouver, and she is currently represented by the Vancouver Art Gallery Art Rental & Sales Program. You can see Aimée’s online portfolio here, fall in love, and then convince your office to rent her work!
And, as always, huge thanks to my good friend and fantastic graphic designer, Michelle Lee, for putting the book cover together. Michelle has worked on four of my book covers now, and I love every one of them! If you also like what you see, and you’re in the market for design services, check out her portfolio!