On the Horizon: Carol Bernier & Mariette Roodenburg

Published Jun 2 2017 by Deborah Carver, Director

Abstract mixed media paintings that incorporate the scraps (castoffs) of Carol Bernier’s students’ work, and two series of layered multiple long exposure photographs from Mariette Roodenburg’s residency at the Baer Art Center in Northern Iceland are the subject matter of the next exhibition at Studio 21, running from June 9 to July 6, 2017.

Carol Bernier is both a painter and a teacher. As an elementary teacher engulfed in her duties, inspiration had to come from the young creative minds of her students.

“At the end of my teaching day, I was moved when I came upon the traces of my students lively, sensitive work. The children also entrusted me with a few finished drawings or paintings, as I had asked them not to throw anything away. I affectionately dubbed my little collection of those The Castoffs,” says Carol Bernier.

Now, twenty years later, she is teaching adults—and asks them not to throw anything away. The new Castoffs are incorporated into the abstract mixed media paintings of this exhibition. Combing through those precious scraps, tearing them up, sticking them together, superimposing one upon the other, she once again delights in creative play.

Born in Montreal, on March 9, 1963, Carol Bernier received a CEGEP degree in Arts in 1983, a BFA in 1988 and a Master’s degree in 1994 from UQAM. Her studies and workshops in Quebec and abroad include clothing design at College Lasalle, and printmaking in Paris and Hungary. Many trips to Turkey, Morocco, France, Belgium and Japan have complemented her artistic training.

Both series of Mariette Roodenburg’s photographs were taken in a small, remote area in Northern Iceland, not far from the Arctic Circle. It is an exceptional place with large skies, roaring seas, thunderous clouds and fog-smoking mountains, with the Baer Art Center as its central point and its radius a days-walk long. “As an artist-in-residence of the Baer Art Center in the summer of 2015, I watched the sun rise and set in the north, or not set at all; I lived through days without end and nights without darkness; I watched the light set the land on fire and the clouds throw heavy shadows on the fields,” says Mariette Roodenburg.

Both Baer with Me and The Cloud and the Mountain reflect Roodenburg’s dialogue with this unusual place.

Born in Curaçao, raised in The Netherlands and a Canadian resident since 2003, Mariëtte Roodenburg has always lived on the edge of land and sea. She studied photography at the Academy Amsterdam-Fotogram in the Netherlands. Prior to becoming a full time photographer, she worked in finance in Europe and South East Asia and launched Anderson gallery of contemporary photography in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia which she ran from 2003 until 2015. Her photographic work has been exhibited in The Netherlands, Germany, the United States and Canada.

Studio 21