Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba

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The End of The End of Time

This is a poster advertising artist Marie LeBlanc’s show. The background photograph is monochromatic and abstract, in shades of gold, tan, and hazy rust. The focal point, slightly off-centre in the bottom left, is a glowing circle, possibly a sun. Reaching towards the light, or possibly radiating from it, are jumbled darker lines. These could be read as tree branches, but are too unfocussed to be defined for certain. The overall effect could also be read as an organic tunnel, with light at the end. Mid-level in bold two-tone contrasting text is Marie LeBlanc’s name. Below in bright yellow is the show title “The End of the End of Time”, and below that in white is the direction to “view show online at AANM.ca”. Along the right side of the poster in white print is the following: "LeBlanc's photography highlights humanity’s relationship to nature in a world threatened by pollution and climate change. As a person with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Marie explores the unnatural in the natural environment. Unable to tolerate the toxicities of indoor living, each winter she is compelled to relocate to the warmer climes of Southern USA… this work was inspired by the beautiful but threatened landscapes Marie experiences along the way.” On an olive-green banner spanning the lower portion of the poster, AANM’s mandate is written in cream text: “Arts AccessAbility Network hosts online shows each month exhibiting the work of Canadian artists with disabilities. AANM supports artistic excellence, promotes higher visibility these artists within all disciplines, and promotes policies and practices intended to make the arts more accessible to all.” Below that are the logos for AANM and Canada Council For The Arts.

BIO:

Marie LeBlanc is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist. Originally from Northern Manitoba, she lived in Winnipeg before recently relocating to Alberta. Living with Environmental Illness means that for LeBlanc, the toxicities of indoor housing have become intolerable due to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and Toxic Mold Exposure. To ease her symptoms, she travels to the U.S. desert in the winter months in a cargo van adapted for safe housing.  LeBlanc has taken on a seasonally nomadic lifestyle, following the warm weather patterns that enable her to be outdoors.

ARTIST STATEMENT:

Marie LeBlanc’s photography highlights humanity’s relationship to nature in a world threatened by pollution and climate change. As a person with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Marie uses art to explore how she, like so many of us, is adversely impacted by the unnatural in the natural environment. Unable to tolerate the toxicities of indoor living, each winter she is compelled to relocate to the warmer climes of Southern USA in her sensitivity-adapted old cargo van. The End of the End of Time was inspired by the beautiful but threatened landscapes Marie experiences along that journey. 

LeBlanc focuses on ecosystem fragility and the control that people have NOW in determining the future health of our planet. Human behaviour affects not only people, but land, water, air, and all living creatures. With ever-increasing global contamination and loss of pristine natural worlds, we will continue to get sicker and sicker. Our world is changing fast. Today, we are witnessing the initial dire consequences of climate change: fire and flood events on a scale previously unknown. Evident throughout her work is Marie’s hope that we can forge and maintain a long-term ecological equilibrium with the world around us. LeBlanc’s activist approach to photography – creating thought-provoking images to raise awareness– is a central element of her practice.

The End of The End of Time begins with images of health, sustenance, tranquility, and balance. The viewer is then confronted with depictions of ecological injury and peril; Marie’s technique of layering translucent imagery provides an ethereal sense of foreboding and complexity. The series will ultimately be concluded in May 2022 to mark Environmental Sensitivities Awareness Month with the addition of a video focusing on this hope: that we will heed our responsibility to end the era of human-driven devastation, giving the Earth an opportunity to heal.

Prints are available for purchase, contact info@aanm.ca to inquire.

The exhibition is also available to be viewed at AANM’s Facebook events: https://www.facebook.com/events/1214812892258610

This photograph is monochromatic and abstract, in shades of gold, tan, and rust. The focal point, slightly off-centre in the bottom left, is a glowing circle, possibly a sun. Reaching towards the light, or possibly radiating from it, are jumbled darker lines. These could be read as tree branches, but are too unfocussed to be defined for certain. The overall effect could also be read as an organic tunnel, with light at the end. The background of the image appears to be a hazy, dark, skyscape.
Illumination (2020, photograph)
This is a photograph of a roiling seashore. Whitecapped waves reach towards hardpacked rusty cliffs at the right side of the image. In the foreground is smooth sand and a pile of dark rocks slicked with wetness. The top half of the photo is a skyscape with a vast cloud formation in tones of lilac, pink, white, and periwinkle. The scene is bathed in the warm, even light that comes just before sunset.
Tides of Time (2020, photograph)
This is an action shot of an owl in flight against a backdrop of green shrubbery.  The owl’s wings are raised and slightly blurred in motion.  The wingspan is double the length of its body.  The feathers are mottled cream and dark brown.  The face is round and flat; its golden eyes stare forwards with intensity.
Predator (2021, photograph)
This is a photo of a lizard eating a grub in the desert.  The lizard is mid-meal; half the grub’s body wraps up and over the lizard’s snout.  The day appears to be hot.  The sand is pink. The lizard is mottled with dark markings and red blush on its midsection.   Shadows are sharp and dark from an intense sun.  In the lower left corner grows a single, miniature desert flower on a delicate stem.
The Course of Nature (2019, photograph)
This is a humorous picture.  In the foreground to the left is a spotted seal lying on his back on smooth sand.  He holds his right flipper in front of his face in a gesture that could be exasperation or embarrassment.  Slightly out of focus in the distance at the top right corner of the image is a bird standing with its back to the viewer.
Seal of Non-Approval (2020, photograph)
The focus of this photo is a group of birds whirling and flapping as one, mid-flight.  They are front and centre, above the brown shingled roof of a dock at the edge of a choppy grey lake.  At the top of the image, hazy in the distance, is a treed shoreline in gradations of grey.
Murmuration (2021, photograph)
This image consists of two photos layered together.  The foreground is a scrubby landscape dotted by the occasional prickly desert tree.  In the bottom right, a highway winds away from the viewer to the horizon.  Snow dusts everything with white.  In the top half of the photo, where ordinarily clouds would be found, a larger-than-life translucent wave of water splashes across the grey sky.
Sonic Boom (2021, photograph)
This is a forest scene, with low greenery scrub in the foreground and taller pines in the distance. Central to the image is an unhealthy-looking pine tree engulfed in an intense white fog of pesticide spray being generated by the metallic nozzle of machinery just partially visible at the left side of the photo.
Collateral Damage (2014, photograph)
In monochromatic greys, two images are layered together.  Rising from the centre to the top right is a narrow but strong cement wall-like structure, possibly a dam, topped by a narrow walkway with railings.  Tourists stand against the railings looking down at their surroundings.  Superimposed on this scene is a rough translucent ocean-scape, so that it appears that powerful whitecapped waves are battering the structure and drenching the visitors with cold sea-spray.
Breakwater (2021, layered photograph)
This is a forest scene, with low greenery scrub in the foreground and taller pines in the distance. Central to the image is an unhealthy-looking pine tree engulfed in an intense white fog of pesticide spray being generated by the metallic nozzle of equipment just partially visible at the left side of the photo.
Refraction  (2021, layered photography)
The focal point of this photo is an adolescent black bear, sitting in the middle of a chaotic garbage dump.  He is surrounded by dirty refuse; we can read “Home Depot” on one collapsed cardboard box, and “Pepsi” on another.  The bear is intently trying to access the contents of a white plastic jug.  His long claws are sticky with food.  In the front right corner is a green plastic Christmas tree stand, recently discarded.
Diner is Closed (2021, photograph)
This photo appears to show a human/monster-like figure standing, arms outstretched, in the centre of a forest.  The figure is foreboding and ethereal in tones of lilac and grey with dark shadows.  A “shawl” of amber moss is draped over its right “shoulder”.  Upon closer inspection, the viewer realizes that the figure is actually not human at all:  it is the large muddy root base of a toppled tree.  The artist has manipulated the colour balance of the entire image to be vivid and unnatural, adding to the spooky feel.
Mortal Danger (2021, photograph)
In this striking layered image, we see a vast pine forest. The palette has been manipulated so that the entire image is gold and amber tones. At the right side stand two figures. Upon closer inspection, the viewer realizes that they are not human, but rather cacti that grew to resemble people.
Humans on Fire (2021, layered photograph)
In front of a backdrop of beige and rust cliffs streaked with turquoise deposits, bleached animal bones lie scattered among dry grass and crumbled rock.  In the foreground is a large spine from some long-dead creature.  At the left side of the photo, the artist has superimposed a self-portrait.  She is translucent, her strapless blue ballgown merging with the turquoise in the rockface.  Her hair is straight and informal, her face is cast down to look at the large animal skull she holds in her hands.  She appears tired and thin, ghostlike.
Old Bones (2021, layered photograph)
The background of this image is cold and white, like a snowscape.  Front and centre is a disturbing figure: a matted, stringy blonde head of long hair gives the suggestion of a human upper body.  Superimposed is a translucent cell tower structure, its technical, sharp angles creating a harsh juxtaposition to the organic form of the figure.    Unsettlingly, the dim silhouette of a second figure stands motionless and unfocussed on the horizon to the left.
Radiation (2021, layered photograph)

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