Processes of interaction with natural environments are at the core of my work. In response to cultural and ecological features of place, I create site-specific installations and actions that explore relations between land and identity, ecologies and presence. Works may include basic elements of place such as seed, stone, root, water, wood, earth; or, I may carry out actions of connecting with place such as walking very slowly through a forest, lying for long periods on the earth, gathering medicinal plants, drinking from a stream. A sense of ritual action permeates processes of making through deliberate patterns of intention and attention. Works are absorbed back into the land, and maybe seen by a few. Photo documents, texts and video installations are the records of these experiences often carried out in remote places.

Historical and contemporary relationships of women with the land shape much of my work. My research process often includes dialogue with women about ecological issues and personal and collective ties to their environment. In one work, recorded conversations with women from my community in the Laurentians are the sound track for a video installation about an increasingly rare indigenous orchid. Another project is a series of photo documents of different landscapes wherein a woman, dressed simply in black, is intently engaged with place. There is also the ongoing Wilderness Women in Black project that documents women in response to sites abused by industry.

I’ve lived in a rural community of Quebec’s Upper Laurentians for more than thirty years. My immediate environment is where my sense of intimacy with the natural world evolves: it is also where I experience “loss” as I witness firsthand the ecological fragmentation and devastation of mountains, lakes and forest – the dire outcome of decades of relentless extraction of “natural resources”, and more recently, the unbridled development of burgeoning tourist industries. Although some works point to the destruction of specific natural environments, particularly in the region where I live, fundamentally I seek to embrace and express our inherent interconnectedness with place.

Lived experience of the boreal forest has influenced the meaning and resonance of my work in natural sites and ecologies elsewhere in North America, in South America and in Europe. Within the locally oriented site-specific work lies a connection to the global context of natural and social phenomena.

In stark contrast to the tenuous physicality of ephemeral in situ works and video and photo installations, I also create public artworks with stone, earth and vegetation in the context of the Quebec Intégration des arts à l’architecture program. These monumental outdoor installations of granite, inscribed with drawings and texts, are an expression of our ongoing relationship to the Earth. They speak of living memory in nature, and the perpetual transformation of life forms.

My work has evolved along with my engagement with Boréal Art/Nature, an artist-run centre whose focus is the exploration and renewal of ties between contemporary artistic practices and nature. As one of its co-founders in 1988, I have participated in the development and organization of Boréal Art/Nature's numerous regional, national and international art/nature residencies, as well as its publications, programs, workshops and conferences. Within this context, I have realized numerous actions and ephemeral large-scale installations during collective projects, not only in the Laurentians of Quebec, but also in the millennial rainforest in British Columbia, the central highlands of Iceland, the neo-tropical forest in Chiapas in Mexico, and the Preseli Hills in Wales. With the centre’s recent acquisition of 300 acres of forest in the Upper Laurentians of Québec, I am involved in the elaboration of a unique residency program of collaborative creative inquiry into the nature/culture dialogue.