Nicole Rehill (LeBoutillier)

About the Artist

I am a Canadian visual artist who uses walking, mapping, drawing, and site- specific wall installations to explore our attachments to place. I grew up in the heart of the western prairie province of Manitoba where I was surrounded by the vast empty landscape. I caught the travel bug early, headed off to university and have never stopped discovering new places. I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design on the east coast of Canada, moved west to Calgary where I married and started a family. Since then I have lived abroad in cities in Angola, Kuwait, Malaysia, Libya, Tunisia, Ukraine, Mexico and Oman. I received my Master of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2020.

About the Works

spaces B E T W E E N, Gallery Wall Installation: Masonite, gouache, staples, wire, screws, brad points, eye-hole screws, washers, nails, 12’L x 13’H x 18’D, 2020, ECUAD, Vancouver, BC

The accumulation of both materials and experiences combined with representations of absence are lines of enquiry in my work. Living as a temporary resident/trailing spouse/outsider, I use walking and mapping as a way to develop a personal system of understanding my urban environment. Through a psycho-geographical and phenomenological lens I translate these experiences of walking in an urban landscape into visual formats. By processing the abstract visual qualities, and the haptic sensory information I encounter, I recreate the street scenes into large scale abstract wall installations resembling maps. My work utilizes methods of layering, collage and assemblage as a means to visualize continuity and (dis)connectedness in a global society where time and space have become increasingly compressed.

In the work, the empty spaces become meaningful places to explore as areas to consider what has been removed or lost. Filling these areas with provisional building hardware such as screws and finishing nails activates the positive/negative spaces creating both a presence and an absence simultaneously. My inquiry is a refutation of “non-places” as I search for a sense of connectedness. By constructing work that questions the strength and impacts of our built environments I am asking viewers to re-discover the architectural spaces we find ourselves in and also to consider the balance that holds the physical and imagined realms intact.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.
Ryerson Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.