Archive for the ‘Nature humaine / Human nature’ Category

This week in Sackville I am painting images of the town and of the surrounding countryside that were painted in the late 19th century by the artists John Hammond and Ethel Ogden. Ethel was quite an accomplished and innovative painter for her short life but the only recognition she received in her time was a short mention in the local paper of her china painting.

There is an unconfirmed story of a relationship between the two of them that has surfaced occasionally this week. There is some evidence that Ethel may have been instrumental in bringing Hammond to Sackville in 1893 with the Owens Art Collection. She studied under him in Saint John and then continued as a colleague in Sackville. The extent of the relationship is not clear, but he was her teacher and mentor and they would have gone out together to do plein air landscape painting. Many of their compositions are uncannily similar. Ethel died at a young age of tuberculosis but before this Hammond had married someone else.

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Elizabeth Simcoe, St-Helene - Montreal, ca. 1792-1796

23 mai 2008, Espace Mobile, Vox, Montréal
Elizabeth SIMCOE, “St Helene – Montreal” Cahiers d’esquisse de Elizabeth Simcoe, 1792-1796. Panorama 58-59. Bibliothèque David M Stewart. Fonds Simcoe.

It rained. I was outside for 20 minutes in the Place de la Paix before it poured rain and I had to run inside.

The square is an interesting place. It seems to be so empty. Constructed like modernist sculpture with space in the middle but nothing to encourage people to fill it. Despite this, it is a space that has a great deal of movement and variety. Everything from skater kids using the curb for tricks, or students from the nearby university residence playing soccer in the middle, to the street-involved population stopping for a rest or to congregate and pass some time.

In the brief time I was there I met a woman who I see coming in and out of the peep shows down the block. She has some prison tattoos. She spoke so softly, but wanted me to know that she thought the pink painting of the mountain view was “really pretty.” It began to rain and she disappeared before I could offer it to her.

I also watched from afar as one of the women I met the first day out was “courted” by a man in a car. In the end she didn’t go with him. But later I think she was accosted by another man on the block, he had ripped open the front of her dress in front of everyone and she was really angry. When I first met her, she told me that she paints to express her emotions to the universe.

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13 mai 2008, Espace mobile, Vox, Montréal
Elizabeth SIMCOE, View near Montreal. ca. 1792. Watercolour. Archives of Ontario, Simcoe Family Fonds, F47. Reference code F47-11-1-0-60. (http://www.archives.gov.on.ca Accessed 10 May 2008 ) Traded for a critical analysis.

Denis Longchamps is doing his PhD in Art History on the sketchbook imagery of Elizabeth Simcoe (1762-1850). He is arguing that the sketches she made all along her journey through Upper and Lower Canada in the 18th century were done in order to further the colonialist project of her husband, Lieutenant Governor John Simcoe. Denis’ research has been an integral part of the development of this phase of Pictorial Propaganda in the Quartier des spectacles. My research has been based on his astonishing indexing of all of her sketches among disparate collections on Canada and Europe, as well as his scholarly view of her work as colonialist propaganda.

Denis has offered to make a critical analysis of Pictorial Propaganda (as it reproduces the original watercolours of Elizabeth Simcoe) within the context of his own PhD research.

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Saint James United Church Saint James Drop In Centre / Centre du Jour Saint-James Saint James Drop In Centre / Centre du jour Saint-James

Anne Marie Beaulieu Bernard Racicot Christine et une amateure d\'art

Daguy au travail Jacques Zurich et Billy, amateur d\'art

Elizabeth SIMCOE, View Near Montreal, 1792

13 mai 2008, Espace mobile, Vox, Montréal
Elizabeth SIMCOE, View near Montreal. ca. 1792. Watercolour. Archives of Ontario, Simcoe Family Fonds, F47. Reference code F47-11-1-0-60. (http://www.archives.gov.on.ca Accessed 10 May 2008 )

Aujourd’hui, nous nous sommes installés dans l’espace public récemment réamennagé situé devant l’église Saint James United. Quelques membres du Centre de jour St-James* m’ont accompagnée pour peindre en plein air. Un gros merci à Anne-Marie, Bernard, Daguy, Daniel, Christine, Jacques, et Zurich (notre Groupe des Sept) qui ont passé une belle après-midi avec moi en partagent leur créativité.

Cette expérience était moins importante pour mes propres rencontres avec le public, il s’agissait plutôt d’une opportunité de mettre en valeur les activités culturelles de la communauté de Saint James United qu’elle ne rend pas toujours visible… (more…)

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Parcours pittoresque du Quartier des spectacles

Le Quartier des spectacles est une des composantes de la nouvelle image de marque de Montréal axée sur la culture et la mise en valeur de son activité créatrice. Il s’agit de la plus récente phase de son développement économique. Je m’intéresse en particulier à l’opinion des gens concernant l’impact socioéconomique et environnemental de ces changements.

The Quartier des spectacles is part of Montréal’s re-branding through culture as a “creative city.” This is the most recent of many phases of economic development in the city’s history. I am interested in public opinion on the impact (socioeconomic and environmental) of these changes.


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Why did discussions around landscape in Canada before the 1960s tend to champion national difference and distinctiveness, often under the banner of exceptionalism, while more recent debates have focused on issues of colonial power and dispossession, transnational crossovers, and regional idiosyncrasy? What relevance do traditional landscape tropes have in a world of vastly altered political, technological, demographic, and environmental circumstances? And if traditional tropes continue to persist, what does it say about the relationship between contemporary realities and the the authority, power, and influence of conventional understandings of nationhood?” — Beyond Wilderness : The Group of Seven, Canadian Identity, and Contemporary Art. John O’Brian and Peter White Eds. (Montreal : McGill-Queens University Press, 2007), 6.

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Le chasseur d’ours

Arthur HEMING, The Bear Hunter, 1910

17 août 2007, L’Église
25e Symposium international d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul

HEMING, Arthur. The Bear Hunter, 1910. Monochrome oil on canvas. 42.6 x 30.9 cm (image); 49.8 x 36.2 cm (canvas). National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Accession no. 218. (Reproduced from Canadian Art : Catalogue of the National Gallery of Canada Ottawa. Vol. 2 / G-K. Ed. Pierre B. Landry. Ottawa : National Gallery of Canada, 1994. p. 116.)

Cette toile fut inspirée par un couple de Les Éboulements qui ont une grande ouverture d’esprit, à tel point qu’ils accueillent des gens défavorisés chez eux pour leur faire vivre une expérience dans la nature. Pendant leur séjour, le monsieur accompagne ces gens en randonnée. Il est également un chasseur d’ours. Bien que cette toile n’est pas strictement un paysage, il témoigne d’une image, celle de l’homme dans la nature, identité que nous avons en tant que peuple descendant des coureurs de bois, des chasseurs et des pionniers qui ont exploré ce pays sauvage. (more…)

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