Lynette de Montreuil

Lynette de Montreuil // University of Western Ontario
Program : Master in Fine Art – in progress

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Lynette de Montreuil traveled across the
country to finish her Bachelor’s of Fine Art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in 2011. Following her graduation she spent a year in Lunenburg as an Artist in Residence. Currently, Lynette is pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Western Ontario. Her work addresses notions of nature, death, decay and lifecycles. Lynette’s interdisciplinary practice focuses on natural prints, sculptures and textural papers. She recently received the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Scholarship.

My artwork emphasizes nature as a process of transition and seeks to explore our
relationship to a changing natural landscape. It aims to investigate and explore the tension inherent in the life cycles of organic matter by highlighting growth, life, decay, and death. I am predominately working with natural, unprocessed materials that are biodegradable. My studio practice involves taking walks, familiarizing myself with the local landscape, collecting indigenous plants, which I then label, photograph and catalogue. This process is regionally specific; I have been exploring this body of work in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and now Ontario. This geographical span is important in showcasing the range and distinctions across Canada’s landscape. I create images that reflect the forms and shapes found in nature by layering various natural materials onto the paper.

The colours from natural dyes diminish with time; fading is inevitable in many art forms, but within this process the transition is evident within months of exposure to sunlight. The delicate and ephemeral forms of the specimen frame the fragility of nature itself, questioning issues of ecology and human land use. The work was meant to reference a living force and how an entity of the smallest scale has large reaching effects. These works seek to use natural materials in a collaborative pursuit, showing transition and giving agency to the materials themselves. In entering into a direct relationship with these materials, I hope to better understand their properties. The work seeks to cooperate with the materials’ inherent characteristics, allowing them to play a more active role in their own representation. I aim to embrace the entropy inherent in natural materials as a means to question human versus nature hierarchies.