Marie LeBlanc

BIO/ARTIST STATEMENT

I grew up in The Pas, Manitoba where my love of photography began. I am a self-taught performance street artist photographer, writer and poet inspired by the world around me. I moved to Winnipeg in 1984 where I completed my Bachelor of Arts (Advanced Major) Degree in Human Geography and Sociology from the University of Manitoba. I am a graduate of Artbeat Studio Artist In Residency Program and Martha Street Studio Making Our Mark II mentorship program through the Arts and Disability Network of Manitoba now known as Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba, which culminated in the Canary in the Coal Mine Exhibition.

My dis- “abilities”, namely multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), allow me to see things from a different perspective; one which I choose to communicate primarily through the lens of the camera. Without my dis-“abilities” I may not have discovered my calling (hidden ability) to communicate through art.

Living with MCS has created a need to free myself with art, by visualizing and exploring the surreal world of nature; capturing faces, shapes, landscapes, along with shadows and reflections creating natural layered effects often superimposing my own reflection that define the world around me. I often include elements of health and the beauty of the present moment; embracing aspects of the ethereal world.

Taking pictures brings out my inner child; I can play with what I see, wherever I am. Taking pictures helps me in many ways to improve my life. I like to grab the viewers’ attention to inspire them and sometimes, to create conflict or joy or emotions not yet recognized. This allows them to transform their perception of themselves, others and the world, creating new awareness and ideas on what they see. This may spark them to create a change or belief; to do something that they thought they could not do before. Everyone’s perception of what they see and the emotions each picture creates is different.

For me, my camera is my appendage; it transforms the world into “my oyster”. The world around me is my source of inspiration; without it, there would be no beauty in nature, layers, reflections, shadows, colours, and shapes to capture. The camera is my eye….looking in front of me, behind me and through me, appreciating what I see, feel, and believe. I use the camera to see where I have been, and where I am going. It serves as my memory bank and creates a visual record as to what I have done during a day.

I believe creative expression through art and entertainment is healing for my body, mind and soul. I would like to take the viewer on a journey to see what I see as a person with MCS. When not working at my art I advocate strongly for better supports for those suffering with MCS and toxic mold exposure. I feels MCS has no borders and humans are facing the beginning of extinction. I was awarded the Mental Health Volunteer Hero of the year in 2012 from Community Mental Health Association of Manitoba and has helped coordinate mental health walks.

I have exhibited extensively throughout Manitoba, and have won various awards of recognition for my art, and my work has been published in GEEZ magazine, Community News Commons, Understorey magazine, The Metro and the Wolseley Leaf. My photography and my journey as a person with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity has been featured on CTV News Winnipeg, CKUW 95.9FM Radio and CBC Radio. I donate my art to various charitable organizations.


WHO says we need fresh air?!  http://nuitblanchewinnipeg.ca/event/who-says-we-need-fresh- air/ 

8:30PM to midnight September 30 at the Oodena Celebration Circle at The Forks during Nuit Blanche Winnipeg/Culture Days.

WHO SAYS WE NEED FRESH AIR?!
“WHO says we need fresh air?!” is a series of quotes, by Marie LeBlanc, projected onto cobblestone at The Forks. Marie collected quotes from sufferers of Environmental Sensitivities (ES)/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). This project is dedicated to her late friends Eliana, Lauren and Nancy.

You will feel the cry for help of the endangered humans living with these conditions from Manitoba, Canada and globally as they share their daily struggles to obtain safe housing and fresh air for their mere survival.

Marie would like to thank her fellow ES/MCS friends who contributed to this project.


May 12th 2017 MCS Awareness Day
(my friend with MCS and dedicated to Eliana who lost her life in Mexico in her struggle to have safe housing) 
Bringing awareness to chemical sensitivity

presented at the Concert Hall and later on in May Goldeyes put up 2 quotes on their big screens during the Winnipeg Goldeyes and Sioux Falls Canaries game.

Marie LeBlanc Artist/Street Photographer Winnipeg (Endangered Human)

 

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