From January 22 to April 9, 2023
The Écosystèmes exhibition is themed around the social and ecological relationships between human beings and the environment and it brings together the work of three artists. An ecosystem is an interconnected system of living things and their habitats – a network of dependence and exchanges of all kinds, essential to the development and maintenance of life.
In an era of globalization, dematerialization and rampant capitalism, the artists question our relationship with the environment and the flora and fauna that are so vital to the world. Is our ecosystem still sustainable? Without supplying a direct answer to this question, the works of Kathryn Lipke, Kylie Sandford and Margrethe Ulvik encourage us to reflect on the ecosystem from a human perspective.
The artists, each in their own unique way, have created a series of landscapes showing their empathy towards the natural world and yet its resilience in the face of human exploitation. Lipke’s subjects reveal the fragility of riverside environments – often viewed primarily as a source of revenue, while Sandford’s detailed paintings address just how closely human beings do (or do not) observe and appreciate nature. Ulvik’s installations, on the other hand, focus on the links forged between diverse cultures, through a variety of techniques employed in the textile arts.
These three artists might express themselves in different ways, but they all invite the viewer to connect with nature on a more profound level – something that is sometimes forgotten in today’s modern world.
From January 22 to April 9, 2023
Born in northern Dakota, Professor Emeritus Kathryn Lipke taught art at Concordia University. The countries she has lived in – from the United States to Finland, via Japan – has had a strong influence on the way she expresses her art. Each place has given her a unique insight into different ecological issues and that has broadened her approach to her work.
Influenced by the wide-open expanses of the Prairies and the theories espoused by the minimalist artists of the 1960s and 1970s, Lipke creates works that question our relationship to the environment. The Waterways exhibition highlights landscapes in which water predominates. By combining natural materials and craft techniques with new media, Lipke reveals the fragility of riparian ecosystems that has come about because of water being exploited by human beings for monetary reasons.
From January 10 to April 9, 2023
In Kylie Sandford’s exhibition Microcosmes exhibition, the paintings and drawings examine how human beings relate to nature – whether they take it for granted or really see it in all its wonder. The artist, who has a varied background in the visual arts, creates scenes – whether with oils or chalk pastels – that depict intimate views of the symbiosis taking place in lakes, rivers, forests and on rocks.
Working with chalk pastel on paper and oil paint on canvas results in two different rhythmic plays between heightened colors and shapes that both capture the essence of nature. Each work is a window into a microcosm that has been studied and deconstructed by the artist to be recreated with strokes of vibrant colors, or glazed layers to create depth and realism to her image. These natural worlds against the white wall reveal the contrast of nature’s strength and its fragility.
From January 22 to April 16, 2023
Margrethe Ulvik’s work highlights the links between people and places, illustrated by the variety of techniques employed in the textile arts. Born in Norway, she has been living in Estrie since 1998. The artist was interested in the artistic and craft traditions of her homeland from a very young age and she expressed herself through painting, drawing and also weaving.
In the installation Mouvements et dentelles (Movement and Lace) she addresses the phenomenon of migration and the vulnerability it can instill in people. One example is her series called Résonnance du Fleuve (River Renonance) – images created as a result of her stay in Kamouraska, a picturesque village steeped in tradition and migratory tales, on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. By creating collages and combining different materials on paper, she illustrates the versatility of the materials she works with, showing how they can be used in an entirely different context from the norm.
The Cultural Center also hosts the installation La laine est un matériau nomade, imprégné de culture, tel un jardin portable – (roughly translated as “Wool is linked to the particular culture it comes from in a similar way to portable gardens”). It is an installation consisting of wool weavings, soundscapes and photographs. The installation is the result of an eight-week artist residency at REDA in Valcourt, where Ulvik held workshops attended by 12 women – Quebecers and recent immigrants from as far afield as Morocco, China and the Philippines. The goal of the workshops was to bring fellow artists together, to discover the creative potential of working with wool.
Lina Xu, Bernadette Tare, Sophie Lapointe, Claire Mercado, Carelle Mercado, Marie, Claude Robert, Séverine Cassier, Aicha Riak, Layla Chafi, Valérie Fortier, Nadia Morin, Shanelle Sauvé, Carol Pauze, Kari Anne Sauvé et Marie Edith Cuerrier.
Soundscape composition :
Photographic documentation :