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Courtesy of Stephanie Mackenzie

Staiy is excited to welcome Stephanie Mackenzie as one of the newest artists to join STAIY ATELIER. Through music and movement, Canadian-born, Paris-based artist connects to her subconscious mind to create her vibrant and expressive art.

Words By Gabrielle Hollenbeck

November, 20th 2020

To get an inside look into who Stephanie Mackenzie is, Staiy had the pleasure of interviewing her – virtually – at her studio in Paris. Mackenzie’s story begins at the age of five, where her family noticed and nurtured her artistic inclination. Her creative genes were inherited from her grandfather and great-grandfather who were both painters and leather goods designers. Learning their craft in no other place than Paris, they instilled their own love for the city in their granddaughter. As she grew, so did her practice, and she went on to pursue a photography degree at Canada’s globally renowned art school, Sheridan College, in Toronto. There, she broadened her skill set, studying not only photography, but design, sculpture, painting and drawing. Fast forward a few years and Mackenzie bought herself a one-way ticket to Paris chasing her dreams. Thirteen years on and she has not looked back.

Courtesy of Stephanie Mackenzie

Although residing in Paris, Mackenzie’s art has been showcased across the globe.. Most recently, her work was featured in Paris’ Galerie Etienne de Causans, in the exhibition “Le monde poétique des artistes”, meaning the poetic world of artists. Nestled in a neighborhood brimming with trendy cafes, bistros and art boutiques,the gallery is located near Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore, coffee spots once favored by the literary world’s greatest, such as Hemingway and Camus.

Delving into the inside world of an artist is at the core of Mackenzie’s painting practice. As her own muse, she uses the vibration of sound to submerge herself into her subconscious, allowing her inner voice to speak through physical movement. The intense color and vivid brushstrokes that characterise her work are her body’s instinctual response to hearing music, ranging from classical and soul to ambient lounge and pop. Using form, space and color, Mackenzie creates an infinite number of combinations, expressing her inner being through this visual language that is art.

Much of the artist’s creative process draws on the concept of human energy, an interest stemming from her lessons in karate as a child. Before learning any of the movements, she had to learn to meditate. “It taught me to become one, mentally and physically,” she explains, “uniting my mind to be disciplined yet free; teaching my body to execute complex and difficult movements with control.” Drawing on the martial art of connecting body and mind, Mackenzie is able to tap into her subconscious and express it through movement in her art.

When discussing the evolution of her art and philosophy, Mackenzie states, “By constantly re-inventing and going beyond what I see, taking my mind further into its imagination. I have always been able to see more than just what is in front. I really dive deep into my subconscious and work with that part of my brain. I play with my thoughts like a puzzle to come up with different creative ideas, pushing boundaries and challenging myself to not just see what is possible but what other people deem impossible.”

Mackenzie’s inner world seems boundless and awe-inspiring – just the kind of artist Staiy hopes to collaborate with. We look forward to seeing her work continue to transgress and how she can harness her human energy to tackle the next issue on the agenda – sustainability.