Copyright © Natalie LeBlanc 2020 all rights reserved.

The rural landscape is a place that holds a history. It holds a presence. Although I sometimes feel sadness in the decay — and in the abandoned — it is also an opportunity for me to bear witness to life’s cycle. It is present in the form, in the colour of the overgrowth, in the fallen, and in the sunken and frail structures. The rugged beauty of the land complements these broken structures so perfectly.

For this series, I brought my sculptures to a place that has inspired many of my 2 dimensional work, and I staged them in different places among various abandoned structures found in the rural landscape. These images can be interpreted as ‘spirits’ lurking in the tall grasses, where hidden and camouflaged, they represent the history that I feel when I am t/here. In seeing my sculptures photographed in this way, I also realize that they are self-portraits; representing the amount of (meaningful) time that I spend in such places. In this work, I am physically (re)connecting myself with a place that has become such a big part of who I am.

More information on this series of work can be found in Personal narratives of spaces, places and displacement as revealed in studio works (2005). Canadian Art Teacher, 5(1), p. 6-15.