The L’Imagier Art Centre, Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie and Loto-Québec are very pleased to announce the selection of Aislinn Leggett to carry out the Photographic Mission in the Outaouais region in 2020-2021.
A native of the small community of Namur, in the Outaouais, the artist will be called on to document one or more aspects of the contemporary landscape in the area where she grew up. The results of her research will then be presented at L’Imagier Art Centre, in Gatineau, in 2021, and later at Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie in 2022. It will be recalled that this artist has already presented the series Enter the Great Wide Open at Rencontres in 2012.
Like many people, Aislinn Leggett is uncertain how the rest of the year will unfold, with COVID-19 upending our way of life and our interactions. What she proposes, therefore, in the framework of this project, is a solitary look at the landscape and the importance of preserving biodiversity. Setting off from previous projects and taking inspiration from artists like Andy Goldsworthy, the artist seeks to explore the idea of land art and landscape interventions. She will endeavor to alter the space by moving elements within the landscape to create ephemeral sculptural installations. She will integrate wool and material that once belonged to her grandmother. “Leaving my mark will be a visual reminder of the human imposition on nature, reminding that the smallest gestures impact our natural resources,” explains the artist. Her process will be documented through written reflections and video and still photography. She will be using a large-format (4×5) camera.
Aislinn Leggett anticipates, during her residency, talking with family members and with people from the area to discover more possibilities and other sites that could have a historical or ancestral connection to her roots. The artist feels privileged to document the landscape through photography and convey what she sees. The camera becomes the tool that enables her to record her interventions and reveal her outlook and opinion on the fragility, balance and determination of the landscape she explores. The medium selected is a powerful means for depicting reality and, in this case, of socioenvironmental, sociopolitical and sociogeographic themes.
It is the artist’s wish that her photographs contribute to the dialogue on the mounting concerns of the state of the environment. She hopes, moreover, that the results of her work can promote a conversation among various social groups. “Using the landscape to benefit our immediate needs rather than co-existing with it, cripples us,” she claims. “The concept of ownership blurs the notion of respect and responsibility, and our overconsuming society is a menace for the earth’s future. The beauty of our landscape might be the very thing that destroys humanity.” Info on the artist: aislinnleggett.com
The Photographic Missions
Created in 2016 by Rencontres with the backing of the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications and then supported, since 2019, by Loto-Québec, the Photographic Missions each consist in doing a series of photos bearing on the landscape of a Québec region. They will cover, between now and 2024, and given the necessary financing, the entirety of the Québec landscape. Rencontres also hopes that they will be used in the establishment of a national photo archive collection.