Article in the Sentinel Review: “Making a story come alive”

Bruce Chessell wrote a great article about my exhibition at the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre. The article is titled “Making a story come alive”, published in the Sentinel Review of Woodstock, today on January 9, 2017.


Making a story come alive

Story-inspired artist unveils exhibit at the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre

Bruce Chessell, Sentinel-Review

It’s hard to capture a story in a picture, but artist Gabrielle Nadeau has done just that. Nadeau’s new exhibition, Story in a Moment, which is on display at the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre, enjoyed its opening reception on Sunday.

A lot of Nadeau’s art comes from her travels, as she works with her husband as a camera operator for different film or television projects.”I encounter a nice scene or a particular person that I find really interesting and I decide to make a portrait out of some of these stories,” she said. “Others are just from people that are close to my life and I love the moment.”

All of her works – a series of oil paintings – are based on photos she took. Nadeau has been painting since she was nine years old but only started focusing on portraits in 2007. “The idea of this series started in 2008,” she said. “I always thought it would be great to have a story that comes with a portrait. So you get to meet or know a little about the subject and find a connection, which give the artworks more significance in a way.”

Most of the subjects in Nadeau’s pieces are doing something, which she said feels more like candid moments. One of her favourite pieces is called Meet:Francis, which is a portrait of an indigenous man from British Colombia who lives on the First Nations reserve community of Hagwilget.

In the painting, Francis is smoking salmon. The story that accompanies Nadeau’s painting is of the village of Hagwilget, located near the Bulkey River. There was a rock in the middle of the river that provided an ideal ecosystem for salmon, which made a reliable source of food for the community. In 1959, the Department of Fisheries had the boulder removed, which made the stream move faster and resulted in it becoming impossible to fish for salmon. In 2008, the federal government settled with the Hagwilget Village.

Nadeau’s story concludes the chief and council of Hagwilget Village did not want the funds to go to waste, so they established a trust for the village and rebuilt the village bit by bit. The trust also allows them to buy salmon for the village every year.

“I love the story about the village,” Nadeau said. “I feel like the story really succeeds in giving more significance to this painting, and I think the play of light really makes it come alive.”

This is only one of the stories Nadeau tells with her artwork. The exhibit can be seen at the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre until January 29.

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