Lyell Castonguay’s woodblock prints invoke disparate influences including Japanese ukiyo-e, the naturalist works of Audubon and Buffon, and traditional Chinese brush paintings. The artist contextualizes the natural world through the filter of his imagination. Castonguay’s paracosm is filled with familiar animals made beholden with human emotions such as tension, conflict, restlessness, and uncertainty. These bold personalities are seemingly at odds with each subject’s intrinsic wildness. The artist’s distorted narratives often incorporate covert references to environmental decline, natural resource commodification, and displacement.
Lyell Castonguay, Horned Lark, 2016, woodcut print, 48" x 24"
Lyell Castonguay, Colony, 2015, woodcut print, 48" x 24"
Lyell Castonguay, Painted Guinea, 2016, woodcut print, 12" x 9"