The Gleaner
Arts & LifeArts & Life

Artist invites locals to discover our ‘marginal lands’

The Alfred-Langevin Cultural Hall will soon become an immersive environment where visitors to the Huntingdon-based gallery will encounter Marginal Lands, an art installation by artist Alyson Champ.

Made possible through the financial support of the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec (CALQ), the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, the Canada Council for the Arts, and other partners, Marginal Lands combines traditional art forms with technology to create an installation about our relationship with the natural environment.

Marginal Lands takes its name from an economic term applied to land that has little potential for profit from human exploitation. Organized around this theme, Champ’s art installation illustrates four distinct marginal landscapes found in the Haut-Saint-Laurent region, each representing a different season.

A large landscape painting along with several smaller paintings, shadow-box assemblages, and found-object sculptures comprise each of the four environments. Digitally manipulated sound recordings made at each location provide an added dimension to this work.

 

Alyson Champ’s Marginal Lands exhibition will open on March 20 at Huntingdon’s Salle Alfred Langevin: those wishing to view the installation must reserve a time slot in advance. PHOTOS courtesy of Alyson Champ

 

“I wish to use art as a conduit to understand reality,” Champ says. “My goal with this project is to create immersive environments, to wash visitors with sensory information on multiple levels and invite them to transcend the gallery space.” The artist hopes that Marginal Lands will encourage people to pause and interact with local undervalued land in a new way. By highlighting the hidden life, variety, and beauty found in these marginal landscapes, she wishes to encourage people to reconsider the way we often value nature only as a function of economics and human utility. “I am trying to share with the public the surprise, curiosity, wonder, and joy I feel when I experience the natural world,” she says.

A resident of Saint-Chrysostome, Champ’s creative output includes painting, drawing, collage, assemblage, and most recently, installation. She studied art at Vanier College, The Saidye Bronfman School of Fine Arts, and Concordia University. Her work has been exhibited throughout the US and Canada. The artist respectfully acknowledges that the land where she lives and works is traditional Kanien’kehá꞉ka (Mohawk) territory.

Champ will be present for the exhibition opening on March 20; however, due to the unique nature of this exhibition, a standard vernissage will not be possible. A limited number of people will be admitted every 15 minutes beginning at 2 p.m. To reserve a time slot to view the exhibition, please call 450-264-5411 ext. 238. The exhibition is free and open to the public from March 20 to May 1.

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