Marsha Doucette (left), Rachel Doucette (right).
“It can be anything” is the open-ended, all-encompassing mantra offered by artist Rachel Doucette as a description of her work. Doucette’s abstract drawings and inspiring journey as a creative person are centred in a brand new short film, It Can Be Anything, named after her powerful mantra. The 28-year-old artist lives with an intellectual disability that can make verbal communication challenging, but allows her artistic voice to resound with much clarity.
Directed by filmmaker Ryan Bergmann, produced by Doucette’s sister Marsha and featuring animation by Good Form Studio, It Can Be Anything uses Rachel’s unique lens to explore the beauty of her artistic practice and life narrative. On June 11, the AGO will host a screening of the film via Zoom, followed by a discussion with Marsha Doucette, Ryan Bergmann and Dylan Carquez (Good Form).
We recently connected with Ryan and Marsha to find out more about their important film, how it was created, and the story of its incomparable lead character.
AGOinsider (for Marsha Doucette): When did your sister Rachel first start creating art? How would you describe her work?
Marsha Doucette: Rachel first started creating art after high school, eight years ago(when she was 20). Her work is creative, definitely creative. Her designs are modern with a playful abstract side. I often don't know what she is going to come up with, both in colour scheme and in design; however, I am always pleased with what I see. She is careful in her craft; taking her time, focused and happy. She uses bright and bold colours, always mixing different patterns together (lines, dots, all different shapes).
AGOinsider (for Marsha Doucette): How did the idea for producing this film come about? How long was the process?
Marsha Doucette: Ryan and I have a special bond as both of our siblings have similar intellectual disabilities. As Ryan and I are both fans of Rachel's artwork, the idea to produce the film in the form of animation came from Ryan. During the beginning of the pandemic, when live film sets were shut down, we thought of turning to animation. And what better way to share a great story, then through the lens of Rachel and her artwork. The initial thought came in April 2020 and has been a full year in production with our animation team, scriptwriter, producer and sound designer. A fantastic team came together to build something meaningful and fun!