Born in Moncton, New Brunswick, Raymonde April studied at the art
college in Rivière-du-Loup, then at the École des arts visuels of the
Université Laval, in Québec.
A photographer since the 1970s, Raymonde April has an elegant style
that incorporates the self-portrait, the everyday, the use of black and
white, and the use of subtle contrast techniques (close-up and wide
angles, appearance and disappearance, symbolism and imagery). Her
photographs form narrative sequences and seem to capture a moment in
time, or provide a series of images representing a fixed period of time.
Raymonde April uses evocative and poetic titles to tell the
narrative history of her photographs and to create associations between
her images. Her great talent consists of marrying autobiography, the
documentary and the everyday with fictional and theatrical settings.
According to critics, Raymonde April has contributed to the evolution
of photography in Canada by starting a new trend in photography with
her tableaux and her streams of images.
The artist touches on various forms of art: portraits, landscapes,
travelogues, diaries and photographs of still life. She takes her
photographs with an awareness of being in a [live] tableau. Her
best-known photographs include: L'Arrivée des figurants (1996), Cabanes dans le ciel (1984-1985), Parade (1986), Car j'ignore où tu fuis (1993), Je vais partir dans les montagnes (1986), La Tasse blanche (1991), Hommes écoutant battre son cœur (1990), La Corneille et les Canards (1993), Journée de chutes (1990), De l'autre côté des baisers (1985-1986), Le Portrait de Michèle (1993), Les Cœurs en bois de rêve (1988) and Une mouche au paradis (1988).
Raymonde April has participated in numerous collective exhibits in
Canada and in Europe, including: "Visual Facts: Photography and Video
by Eight Artists in Canada" held in Glasgow, Sheffield and London
(1985); "Montréal Art Contemporain", ELAC, held in Lyon (1985); "The
Impossible Self", held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1988); "Montréal
89: Aspects de la photographie québécoise", held in Montréal and "Art
Junction International" held in Nice, France (1989).
Her photographs are exhibited regularly in Canada and in Europe. Her
works are in the private and public collections of various cultural
institutions such as the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, the Musée
du Québec, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Leonard and Bina Ellen
Art Gallery at Concordia University, the Canadian Museum of
Contemporary Photography in Ottawa, the Canada Council and the
Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.
In addition to her photography, Raymonde April has a career in
teaching. She has taught at the Department of Visual Arts at the
University of Ottawa and currently teaches photography in the Studio
Arts Department at Concordia University in Montréal. She is also one of
the founders of La Chambre Blanche, a centre for artists in Québec.