Lyell Castonguay

Lyell Castonguay is a printmaker creating narrative woodcuts that incorporate transparent colors and complex, hand carved patterning. Castonguay’s current body of work depicts the familiar imagery of birds in portraiture and masses, but they are distorted into allegorical beasts. The artist’s interest in avian subjects began six years ago when he was given two juvenile society finches. As they grew, he became fascinated with their distinct personalities. Castonguay eagerly observed them communicating with one another and watched them huddle together at night. These unassuming finches prompted an ongoing series focused on the emotional variety of birds, including: ferocity, restlessness, and uncertainty. Depictions of animals by artists such as Baskin, Frasconi, and Audubon have been a guiding force in this project’s development. Ultimately, Castonguay hopes to compile his growing bestiary of larger-than-life birds into a publication.