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Talented Canadian artist Zoé Boivin is auctioning off her original painting "MILAN" to raise awareness and funding for endometriosis, infertility and cancer in partnership with Alba. Funds collected will serve as donations to research and awareness programs on endometriosis, infertility and cancer. The auction takes place online on the Alba Facebook page between Tuesday, August 21 (8 PM EST) and Sunday, August 26 (8 pm EST). Alba’s mission is to shine light on endometriosis, female cancers, infertility and chronic pain one courageous individual at a time, through portraits, stories, art and resources.
The pursuit of joy
“Let joy be your compass”. That is Zoé Boivin's favorite motto – one that guides her decisions in art and in life. When speaking both about art and about wellness, Zoé emphasizes the importance of doing what makes you come alive, following your joy and aligning yourself toward love and light.
For Zoé, painting is what makes her feel centered and alive daily. “Art brings me clarity of mind, love, joy, excitement and well-being, both physical and mental”.
Art has always been a natural and intuitive part of Zoé’s identity, although it took getting reacquainted with herself to find it again. “Since I was a little girl, I have always felt the need to express myself through artistic creations. Growing up, I moved away from my passion, often because of uncertainty, fear or due to others. At the age of 24, a big change in my personal life led me to take a step back in my career path, and life in general. I then reconnected with my true self and felt happiness in simply doing what I love – creating, just like when I was little!”
Zoé’s own life experience has shaped her belief that taking time for mental and physical self-care is vital to cope with life’s surprises and difficult situations.
"It’s very beneficial to take breaks in life, at times even from those around us, to better center ourselves, especially before moving forward in projects or major decisions or life choices. In many cases, the solution comes from taking a step back from whatever we “created” in our life that was less aligned with our inner compass.”
“The practice of expressing emotions through painting was like an innate calling. I knew it was that direction that I had to pursue.”
Zoé’s paintings are full of color, shapes and emotions. “I paint beings in a variety of forms, as much in the darkness as in the light. I explore themes of identity, values, intuitions, the presence of external forces and femininity.”
Zoé discusses how art serves as therapy, expression, connection and healing.
"Art is a way for the artist to express his or her state of being, energy and emotions at that precise moment in time through a work, in a free and authentic way. Subsequently, works of art circulate and they come to touch individuals who feel in alignment with this same energy or who are inspired by it. Artworks help to circulate energies, and thus contribute to our well-being and mental health."
In a process she describes as her daily therapy, Zoé approaches a blank canvas with a sense of spontaneous exploration.
"Most of the time, I prepare a series of canvases on the floor, making ink and watercolor spots to create a base that will inspire the beginning of the work. I always listen to music in accordance with my emotions at that time. Subsequently, the creation happens as a form of dance. I observe my hands dancing on the canvas, and my eyes choose the colors but this is done very quickly and not consciously. I only have to prepare my environment as well as my state of being, and the painting is done by itself."
"I know that the work is complete when I stop 'dancing', when I stop moving to and from the canvas. When I feel that I have nothing more to add, that the image is fixed in time and in the universe, I have accomplished my work for the day."
Changing the dialogue on well-being
When painting doesn’t flow as easily, Zoé takes the time to work on herself.
"In difficult situations, I take a break from work to meditate, to surround myself with positive people who make me feel good and to explore. I have always loved the water and the mountains – they relax me greatly. I would say that daily meditation is what has helped me the most."
Zoé believes in a multidisciplinary approach to emotional and physical health. Practices of art, yoga and meditation help refocus on one’s inner self. "Society is acknowledging this more and more, and I am delighted to see this transformation."
Zoé acknowledges how difficult it is to live with an invisible physical or mental illness.
"I think society has a lot of work to do in the case of invisible illnesses. Indeed, we live in a world of images, and it becomes very easy to get lost. The important thing is to be oneself, to listen to oneself and to respect oneself to stay centered, healthy and in a natural state of joy, without fear of judgment from others."
A one-of-a-kind piece
Zoé infuses so much of her being into her work, it is no surprise that she finds it very difficult to part with a piece. "I remain very attached to each of my works. I console myself by telling myself that once a piece is done, it no longer belongs to me."
It is extremely generous of Zoé to dedicate her painting "MILAN" to Alba’s mission of raising awareness for invisible but life-altering illnesses like endometriosis, infertility and cancer.
Together, we hope to empower, uplift and inspire individuals worldwide to survive, thrive and find the light, in spite of taboos and judgments.
To participate in the online auction, find all the details on Alba’s Facebook page.
For more about Zoé, visit her page and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
For more about Alba, visit our page and follow as we raise awareness on Instagram and Facebook.
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