Chantal Fontaine Hébert - Artistic approach

Chantal Fontaine Hébert has a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and formal training in visual arts, calligraphy, Japanese and Arab calligraphy, sign art and illumination. She has always been fascinated by the power of vowels, consonants, syllables and words; the act of writing and using calligraphy to communicate. Letters send her visual signs which inspire her and fuel her creativity. She has published three books of poems.

Fontaine Hébert delves into what is traditionally associated with literature: paper, ink, signs and letters. Her approach consists mostly of using Japanese and Arab calligraphies which allow –thanks to the broadness of the strokes– for more abstract designs.

She likes elements to be balanced and unbalanced. She uses acrylic and ink. The acrylic is liquefied through various techniques and becomes ink it is so fluid and clear. Fontaine Hébert uses blacks to signify absence and greys to give the illusion of relief. She also uses illumination techniques such as applying 24-carat gold to her art to create light, and silver to create a sense of purity and transparency. She is known to sometimes add paper to her paintings which she makes herself from scratch.

Fontaine Hébert shies away from popular trends and what Kandinsky called the search for principles and means of expression linked to a specific era. “Each period of a civilization creates an art that is specific in it and which we will never see reborn. To try and revive the principles of art of past centuries can lead only to the production of stillborn works. The artist must be blind to ‘recognized’ and ‘unrecognized’ form, deaf to the teachings and desires of his time. His open eyes must be directed to his inner life and his ears must be constantly attuned to the voice of inner necessity.” The artist is thus able to use all of the means which are at his disposal, be they “authorized” or “prohibited”.