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Nature as a Creative Tool

Print showing the side view of a pike on a white background.

Le brochet (The Pike), Print by Marilyse Goulet, 2003.

Laimon Mitris (1920-2009), Virginia Pésémapeo Bordeleau et Jean-Yves Brie are among the artists that experiment with using nature as a creation tool.

Mitris is an eclectic artist that has experimented with the abstract as well as the figurative, is known among other things to have created a great number of surreal landscapes inspired by the boreal forest and the Abitibi countryside. He has also produced many high-reliefs (alto-relievo’s)  made of sand, masonite and cardboard, evoking a cosmic and psychedelic universe. Some of these pieces contain patterns similar to those of the anicinabek artists. He was born in Lettonie and has spent most of his adult life in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

Winter landscape, at the forefront we can see a winter plain with a few trees and coloured rocks, at the top a house and its surroundings before blueish tinted clouds. In the middle right, two people are walking in the snow, one of them is pulling a sled with a third person sitting on it.

First snowfall (Première neige), by Laimon Mitris, painter, mixed techniques (1978) Collection du MA, musée d’art (MA, musée d’art Collection).

Photograph of artist Virginia Pésémapeo Bordeleau at work.

Virginia Pésémapeo Bordeleau at work.

Virginia Pésémapeo Bordeleau is not only a painter but also a novelist and poet. She is of Metis-Cree ancestry, born north of the region and currently residing in Rouyn-Noranda. Her art offers vibrant and contrasting tones, with patterns and themes similar to traditional indigenous artwork, while also exploring the optical effects of abstract lines and depths. The bear, her animal totem, as well as many other animals, are recurrent themes in her artwork. Many of her paintings incorporate natural materials, such as sand, tree bark and lichen. She makes great use of texture and light.

Abstract painting dominated by ochres and reds with a general movement going back to the centre.

Bear skull. Acrylic painting by Virginia Pésémapeo Bordeleau, 2004.

Jean-Yves Brie is an actively engaged artist exploring mediums such as drawing, painting and serigraphy (silkscreen printing). His artwork often seeks to condemn the damaging effects of pollution and industrialization in a surreal and playful way. In many of his paintings, birds and nature come together to confront a source of pollution or war.