Yechel Gagnon completed a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts from Concordia University after receiving an AOCAD with Honours in Drawing and Painting from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Her work has received reviews in the Globe & Mail, Canadian Art, Vie des Arts, Espace magazine and Circa International magazine. Gagnon’s work is widely collected and is part of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Osler Hoskins & Harcourt collection, Le Centre-d’art de Baie-St-Paul, Bishop's University, University of Montreal, and the Gotland Museum of Fine Arts in Sweden to name a few.
Close engagement with the material qualities inherent to each form and medium has served as the foundation for Gagnon’s artistic practice. She works with ink paintings, layered plywood panels carved in relief, frottage drawings, and embossings, among others. The images and intentions that preoccupy Gagnon are carried forward from one medium to the next.
Gagnon’s visual language gained much of its syntax through working with plywood; the themes and techniques that are explored are diverse. Plywood can exemplify dualism of identity: a complex, industrially-produced material layered with ‘content’ from its natural, organic source. No two panels are alike. Each stratification conceals an intriguing vocabulary of knots, grains, textures, hues, growth rings, organic networks of fine lines and whirls and manufacturing defects within an artificial end product. Restoring submerged values to plywood's diminished practical identity through re-layering redirects its purpose to that of a kind of decoy: an uncanny reminder of an almost forgotten, fuller world and our place within it.