Gab Bois on mind-reading, smile lines, and Casper the Friendly Ghost
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Gab Bois’ Instagram is a collection of beautifully weird, weirdly beautiful images. Her surreal photographs alter our perception of reality by taking random banal objects, removing them from their conventional context, placing them is entirely new settings and so changing what they have come to mean entirely. Turning a Cheese String into a thong and creating earrings out of prawns result in uncomfortable yet alluring viewing.
Despite most of Gab’s work being photography based, fine arts graduate does not consider herself a photographer. “I like to try out a lot of different things,” she explains. “At the moment, most of the work I choose to show is photographic, because I find it to be the fastest and most efficient medium. However, there are so many other projects I want to do, but I don’t have the skills or equipment to do them yet. I guess I could describe a lot of what I do as ‘experiments’.”
Based in Montreal, Canada, Gab, now 21, grew up an only child, not that she ever really felt alone. “I don’t ever remember being bored,” she says. “I was very lucky because my parent’s house has a backyard, so I got to spend a lot of time outside, creating different universes according to the different seasons. We have a wide range of temperatures in Quebec, so I was exposed to a variety of sensory experiences.”
“I always loved making stuff with my hands,” she continues, “but I only got interested in photography after I was done studying fine arts. I had some beginners classes in school but I didn’t have much interest in them because I never knew what to shoot.” Then two years ago, Gab found herself in a French grammar class at university, when she suddenly got an idea for a texture series. “I left the class during the break and went home to shoot it. I posted it on Instagram and haven’t stopped taking pictures since.”
Fast forward to now, and the young creative boasts an impressive following on social media. 166k to be precise. With her sights set on incorporating more sculpture and drawing into her work, skills she learnt at university, Gab is increasingly proving one to watch.
What’s your career highlight?
It’s hard to pinpoint one single event. When I think of highlights I’m reminded of the process that was required for them to happen. One thing that I still find hard to believe is seeing some of my personal icons follow me and show love towards my work, that’s something I never thought would happen.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a few photo series, but I’m also trying to develop new skills to incorporate in my work. I like photography a lot, but my background is primarily in sculpture and drawing. I’m trying to go back to it because I’ve lost touch with it in the last year. I think incorporating it more frequently could really benefit my work.
Tomorrow you wake up with another face of your choice. Whose is it and why?
I’m torn between baby Daisy Duck, Casper The Friendly Ghost, or the blushing emoji. I know I would be cheered up every time I looked in the mirror.
It's 30 years from now. You stumble home at 3am and catch your reflection in the fridge door. What do you look like?
Hopefully similar to how my mum looks like now. She has defined smile lines, and I hope to have some of my own in 30 years.
If you could have a new sense on top of your existing ones, what would it be?
In theory, I would say mind-reading, but I feel it would be overwhelming. I think I would stick with the ones I have now, they’re plenty to deal with.