Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau
With broad, sweeping strokes of paint on canvas, Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau pays homage to the milieu, both human and animal, from which she took root, from which she was nourished. Virginia, who was born in Rapides-des-Cèdres, Quebec, began painting as a child, obtaining a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of Quebec in Abitibi, in 1985.
Virginia works with a range of media – watercolour, painting, sculpture, engravings and installations – and has experimented with different styles: In her early works, her depiction of people, often family members in their camps, inspired some to compare her to Gauguin. By the late 1980s, however, as her attention turned to Cree spirituality, her painting evolved to embrace a lyrical wash of colour in the style of abstract expressionism. To see examples of both styles, view Virginia's work on this site. As a mature artist, her works are inspired by aboriginal mythology, particularly as it pertains to Mother Earth and her totem, the bear. As if their spirits have impregnated her soul, these interests have found expression in various forms: wood engravings for a book entitled Contes de la mythologie athapaskane (Tales from Athapaskan Mythology) based on Marie-Francoise Guédon's book, Le reve et la foret, Histoires de chamans nabesna; installations consisting of totem poles; and paintings in which recognizable forms from nature emerge through a fluid haze of pigment.
Virginia has exhibited her works in group and solo shows in Quebec, Canada, the U.S.A., France, Mexico and Denmark. In addition to winning many prizes in recognition of her work, she has pieces in collections at the First Nations Assembly of Quebec, the Ministry of External Affairs, Indian Art Centre of Ottawa, in Northern Ireland as well as in the collection of Loto-Québec.
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