Art for Alzheimer’s: Catherine Benny’s “2012”

Painter Catherine Benny decamped from Laval to Montreal about three years ago, and, unable to bring her backyard garden along, she turned to painting as a new, more urban-friendly creative outlet. And then, says her daughter Nadine, after six months, “the curve just went way up and she started doing abstract stuff and really, really cool things started to come out.”

This sense of surprise is apparent when Benny talks about her own work. “When I’m in front of a canvas, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m shocked, it’s amazing.” While natural talent is clearly a factor here, so is hard work. Inspired, she chants, “I just do it, I just do it, I just do it!” She also admits that her creativity is aided and abetted, since “I don’t clean much. I don’t cook, my husband cooks.” Her shock and amazement can also be felt in the impressive range of the displayed works in her current exhibit at Galerie Espace: 53 peopleless pieces of pure abstraction and forest landscape are juxtaposed with two very different takes on the city: one moody noirish globby, the other a flattened storybook-style happy.