Marie LeBlanc is a self-taught multidisciplinary, conceptual and political disability artist. Through photography, multimedia projection, short film, performance, wordsmithing and poetry she explores themes related to landscape, isolation, beauty, health (mostly Environmental Sensitivities) and nature. Capturing faces, shapes, shadows and reflections with digital and on-camera effects, often superimposing her own reflection, she seeks to embrace the present moment and the ethereal world around her. In the winter months, she travels to the U.S. desert in a cargo van adapted for safe housing to ease the symptoms of Environmental Sensitivities (ES). She advocates for those (including herself) living with Environmental Sensitivities.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts Advanced Major Degree in Human Geography and Sociology from the University of Manitoba. She has participated in the Making Our Mark II Printmaking Mentorship Program at Martha Street Studio, the Artist In Residency Program at Artbeat Studio and the Art Salon Program at Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba (AANM). Her story and artwork have been featured in interviews, radio, articles and newsletters throughout Western Canada, the US, and MCS Aware (UK). She was awarded Microgrants from Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art and AANM for the completion of Overdressed.
Marie often participates and advocates in meetings and coalitions to have the needs met for those living with Environmental Sensitivities (also known as Environmental Illness). In 2022 and 2023 Marie participated in the Accessible Parks Canada Conference.
Marie often donates and has donated her art in the past to various charitable organizations.
Her 3 most important projects to date include:
1. Awards, nomination and honorable mention for the short film Multiple Chemical Sensitivity & Environmental Illness-Awareness & Acknowledgement include:
Accolade Global Film Competition
Award of Recognition: Contemporary Issues / Awareness Raising. 2022
Royal Wolf Film Awards
Best Documentary Short – Platinum Award. 2021
Impact DOCS Awards
Award of Recognition: Contemporary Issues / Awareness Raising
BRIFF – Bistrita Romania International Film Festival
AIMAFF – Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival
Mojo international Film awards (MIFA)
Selected to be included in the film festival
The film was displayed at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights fall of 2022 and Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) in Winnipeg featuring stories from people living with Environmental Sensitivities/Environmental Illness including multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) and mold illness Marie met along her journey. https://youtu.be/xlmDrJYswxA. (8 mins)
2. WHO says we need fresh air?! – has travelled throughout Manitoba, Nuit Blanche Winnipeg, to Edmonton, Jasper and Arizona. Quotes from individuals across the globe afflicted by Environmental Sensitivities/Environmental Illness are projected onto buildings, structures, billboards, screens and monitors.
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.
Full video series for your information: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLu3HbaZdPIMHsKGdxXEBwafm-8yh4Y-p9
3. Overdressed was Marie’s most impactful photography project. In the series she wore a blue evening gown (mostly) in the desert where she performed every task on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in the blue evening gown and hiking boots. The dress represents how everything is like a special event and how tired she is after that event.
Overdressed: https://aanm.ca/overdressed/ you can scroll to the images after the artist statement.
*Environmental Sensitivities includes Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity, and Mold Illness /Mold Hypersensitivity. People experience adverse reactions to various things in the environment such as perfumes, cleaning chemicals, smoke, electrical devices, electronics, cell towers, mold, 5G, foods, paint and so much more. The effects can be irritating to completely debilitating often affecting many organs. Many live in poverty without access to housing, medical professionals trained in environmental medicine, medical facilities, public spaces, public transportation and so much more. Many lead a life of isolation without the support of family, friends and social organizations.
Marie’s website www.marieleblanc.net; the NEWS/BLOG is the most up to date information.
You can contact Marie at email@example.com