Majie Lavergne moves pieces on his abstract art piece

Nanaimo artist creates interactive paintings

NANAIMO - Artist Majie Laverne creates interactive art that allows viewers to become part of the creative process.

Majie Lavergne’s art moves people.

The movement goes beyond the typical emotional response that some art elicits in viewers. People are asked to interact with his art, take pieces off the canvas and re-create the piece with their own artistic eye.

“I’ve always been involved in art that challenges the boundaries between the viewer and the artist,” said the Nanaimo artist. “Anything that gets the viewer to be more creative and tap into their playfulness to have fun, to me, is a fantastic thing.”

Lavergne creates his interactive art with the help of powerful magnets, called rare-earth magnets.

His art, which he calls his re-create series, has several painted pieces. He places them in a set design on the background.

“Usually I have one starting point … that’s my story and my starting point and then it’s whatever people want to do with it,” said Lavergne.

He’s focusing more on his re-create series because of the positive response he has got from people when he debuted the series during an Art Lab show in Vancouver and Art Vancouver show earlier this year.

“That kind of nourished me as an artist … kind of directs me to do more of that,” he said.

The series includes several different background types: an acrylic, crackle paint; wood and mixed wood and paper background.

Lavergne’s father, Robert Lavergne, was a French post-impressionist painter, and his godfather was an abstract painter.

Even though he grew up in an artistic household, Lavergne didn’t start painting until he was in his 40s.

He was drawn to abstract art because of its flexibility and range.

“I enjoy the freedom of shapes and lines and colours and I find that through abstract I can express myself and my mood in a freer way,” said Lavergne.

Lavergne is expanding the scope with his new pieces.

He is merging the interactive elements with his abstract painting.

“It’s all built together and all designed together. In the next pieces I am doing I just kind of play with the abstract and the interactive qualities, so it is a pretty rich thing,” he said.

Lavergne said he is interested in the contrast between geometric shapes, lines, unplanned shapes and forms.

“I like when there is a mix of something unplanned and something planned,” he said. “Something unstructured and something structured and how they come together or how they contrast and oppose each other.”

Lavergne moved to Nanaimo 11 years ago and works as a psychotherapist and an art therapist as well as an abstract painter.

Lavergne is exhibiting his work in Parksville at the MacMillian Art Centre until the end of October. The opening reception is from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 8).

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