Rosanna Marmont, Jean-Philippe Luckhurst-Cartier and Alanah Correia, three winners of the Defining Moments art competition, will be at this year’s Winterlude celebration to talk with visitors about their art pieces as part of a travelling exhibition.
Rosanna Marmont's "Wheatfield" beat out artworks from across the country to take home the top prize at Winterlude's Defining Moments art competition.
The collection is in collaboration with Taking It Global, an organization dedicated to inspiring youth to get involved with social movements. Defining Moments: Discovering Our Canadian Stories features work by 26 young people aged 13 to 30 from all across Canada and focuses on themes of national identity.
The exhibition will be part of Winterlude’s WinterBlast Youth Weeekend, which will feature events for teens and young adults.
It is on display at Confederation Park in downtown Ottawa and 12 of the 26 finalists will be in the capital for the last weekend of Winterlude to showcase their work.
Marmont, 25, won first place with “Wheatfield,” a landscape painting of a wheat field in Alberta.
Marmont, who moved to Canada from New Zealand when she was 13, says she was struck by Alberta’s landscape from a young age.
She says her childhood experiences with Western Canadian landscapes eventually influenced her art.Marmont says her first encounter with Canada was in Western Canada and influenced her family’s decision to move permanently to Canada in 2000.
“It’s so wide open and expansive and when I saw that landscape when I was a young kid it had a huge impact on me,” she says.
Second-place winner Luckhurst-Cartier, 26, says he wanted to deal with ideas of relation and identity.
He created a diptych, “Whapmagoostui,” entirely from descriptions over the phone from a friend living in the Whapmagoostui First Nations community in northern Quebec.
“I was dealing with themes of territory, vast images of landscapes but also abstract landscapes,” he says.
“I used someone else to explain to me the territory without going there, so the image reflects territories that I haven’t seen. It’s the misunderstanding of community.”
Correia, 18, won fourth place with her photograph, “I Love Our Potential.” She says she is a member of Taking It Global and saw the competition as an opportunity to share her art and the concepts behind it.
“I thought it was a really great premise of defining your own significant moment in your life,” Correia says.
She submitted a photograph of her brother standing silhouetted against a window with his hands in front of his face.
She says the emphasis on his hands is supposed to inspire young people to take what they’re good at and apply it to volunteering or to global or social issues that interest them.
“My photograph represents how we have so much potential to do so much and we just have to look around and see it,” Correia says.
Marmont, Luckhurst-Cartier and Correia will all have the opportunity to travel to Ottawa with the Defining Moments exhibit and show their work.
The National Capital Commission will not only pay for their trip, but will also provide them with digital cameras to record their stay.
They all agree young people should take more of an interest in the arts and that the importance of art is getting lost among Canadian youth.Marmont cites technology as a reason children may not have as much interest in art as their elders do.
“When I was a young kid I really didn’t have many toys and a lot of us can relate to just not having as much as the young generation now has,” Marmont says.
“You would naturally gravitate towards creating your own imaginary world…you would actively be creating that rather than just engaging in it by turning on a power button.”
Correia says schools should be responsible for exposing students to the arts.
“Science is so emphasized in school that people are socialized, in a way, not to be involved with (art),” she says.
“I think that a lot of people don’t see their own potential in art or haven’t found the type of art they want to explore more.”
Luckhurst-Cartier, who works with children at an art museum, says they are actually quite interested in art when it’s explained to them.
“I think what’s sad is that they don’t have access to a day school enough,” he says, adding that their lack of interest is misunderstood.
One thing is certain – all three finalists say they’re looking forward to coming to Ottawa to talk with the public about their winning art pieces.
“It blows my mind!” Corriea says excitedly about being chosen as one of the top finalists. “This is happening. It’s really crazy. I’ve never been to Ottawa.”
“The fun thing is we can talk to the public about it and do some mediation about the work,” Luckhurst-Cartier says.
“I’m excited to see how people respond (to my piece) and what they take from it,” says first place winner Marmont.
“You only really know how successful your work is once you hear people talking about it.”