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Get to Know | Monique Motut-Firth

Monique Motut-Firth (BFA 2010, MFA 2015) is a visual artist, writer and educator who works primarily in paper, paint and textiles.  Monique’s current work investigates collage and photomontage as a critical strategy for exploring the role of technical images in knowledge production and cultural representation. You can see more of her incredible and intricate work on her website as well as through @moniquemmf on Instagram. This is part of our Get to Know series, where we get a chance to learn about the amazing artists, designers, illustrators and creators in our community.

Featured image is titled “5lbs cod fillet wagons imported chocolate menthol ultra natural phones”, 2019. Provided courtesy of the artist.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Monique Motut-Firth and I am a visual artist and arts instructor currently working in the mediums of collage, paint and animation in Vancouver BC. I use the vocabulary of existing print images to guide my practice in the playful creation of inventive compositions, machines and scrap-systems.

Describe your current practice/career in three words.

Motion. Balance. Play.

What are you most excited about in your practice/career right now?

I am most excited about the way fresh ideas keeping emerging from my practice. I am constantly pushing myself to think about the images that I cut in different ways, challenging myself, questioning the potential of my medium and ways of working, making new roads into animation and of course, writing, writing, writing.

Regional power cell saw no. 0036 | 2018 | courtesy of the artist
Name one thing in your practice that you can’t do without?

My little pair of grey handled super sharp scissors.

Were there any professors or classes that influenced you?

I was inspired by so many of my professors and their insight. They continually pushed me to make my work stronger, as well as my peers who were also working on interesting projects. Equally, I was impressed by the support staff in the print lab, alumni office, wood shop, writing centre and library. It takes a whole team to support a creative project.

How do you stay connected to the artistic community after graduation?

Staying connected after graduation is essential. I attend openings on campus, support my peers and professors professionally within the Vancouver Arts community and hopefully through my teaching opportunities inspire new students to join the creative industry.

Artist studio portrait | 2020 | courtesy of the artist
How do you stay motivated/inspired in your practice?

My practice is very generative. Most of the time I am trying to catch up to my own ideas. Everyday I work on something, even if it is something small.  On low energy days I work on larger project preparation. I always leave my studio ready to begin work again so that I can jump right back into it. I also make lists and lists of what I intend to do. I stick to my lists!

What’s a typical studio day look like for you?

A typical studio day usually begins with emails and the business side of things then I get into the ripping, cutting and assembling, tripping over things, losing my phone and/or my scissors, scrambling around on the floor trying to find something, painting. Stop everything; eat lunch – then start the whole mess again. I try not to take myself too seriously as I work best in chaos.

Vase tire flower bird | 2019 | courtesy of the artist
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