Marlene Creates

Marlene Creates lives and works in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland & Labrador. For almost 40 years her work has been an exploration of the relationship between human experience and the land, and the impact they have on each other. Since 2002 her principal artistic venture has been to closely observe and work with the 6 acres of boreal forest where she lives.

Since the mid-1970s, her work has been presented in over 350 solo and Group exhibitions and screenings across Canada (including several nationally touring solo exhibitions) and in Austria, China, Denmark, England, France, India, Ireland, Korea, Scotland, and USA. Since 2005 she has held over 40 site-specific, multidisciplinary events in the patch of boreal forest where she lives, called The Boreal Poetry Garden. In September 2017, a touring retrospective of over 35 years of her work – Places, Paths, and Pauses – will open at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton NB.

Her work has been commissioned by the Art Gallery of Memorial University, Sun Life Assurance Company, Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Gallery 101, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Health Care Corporation of St. John’s, Edmonton Art Gallery, and the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre in Hamilton.

She has been invited to participate in residencies by the Art Gallery of Algoma, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Boréal Multimédia, Est-Nord-Est (Saint-Jean-Port-Joli), Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (Yukon), W(here) Festival (Pictou County, NS), Full Tilt Creative Centre (McIvers, NL), University of British Columbia Okanagan, rare Charitable Research Reserve (Cambridge, ON), and 4elements Living Arts (Manitoulin Island, ON).

She has been the curator of several exhibitions, worked in artist-run centres (SAW in Ottawa and Eastern Edge in St. John’s), and taught visual arts at Algonquin College (1975-82), the University of Ottawa (1982-85), and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1998). She was a director of the Photography Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts (1991) and an invited academic visitor for the Art, Space + Nature MFA at the Edinburgh College of Art (2015). She has also led multidisciplinary place-based art projects with over 2,000 school children in Newfoundland.

She has presented over 200 guest lectures at institutions and conferences in Canada, Chile, Italy, UK, and USA, including the Glasgow School of Art, the University of Oxford, the University of Kent at Canterbury, and the Universities of Turin, Venice and Siena. In 2008 she was the keynote presenter at the symposium Art, Rural Life and Environmental Concern at the University of the West of England in Bristol, and in 2012 she was a plenary speaker at the biennial conference Space + Memory = Place of the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada.

Her awards include the Artist of the Year Award from the Newfoundland & Labrador Arts Council (1996), the CARFAC National Visual Arts Advocate Award (2009), the VANL-CARFAC Long Haul Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts (2009) "which recognizes a substantial contribution to the visual culture of Newfoundland and Labrador by a senior artist," the BMW Exhibition Prize at the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival for her exhibition at Paul Petro Contemporary Art (2013), and the Grand Jury Award at the Yosemite International Film Festival (2014). She was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2001.

Marlene Creates' Website

Solo Exhibitions, selected
  • Marlene Creates: Signs of Our Time, Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, NS and tour: The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, St. John’s, NL; Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Owen Sound, ON; Cambridge Galleries, ON; McIntosh Gallery, London, ON
  • Echoes of Grace, A Space Gallery, Toronto, ON
  • Water Flowing to the Sea Captured at the Speed of Light, Blast Hole Pond River, Newfoundland 2002-2003, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI; Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s, NL
  • Language and Land Use, Newfoundland 1994 , Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s, NL; Collins Gallery, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland; Timmins Museum, ON; Thunder Bay Art Gallery, ON; Art Gallery of Algoma, Sault Ste. Marie, ON; Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, NS; University of New Brunswick Art Centre, Fredericton, NB; Paved Art + New Media, Saskatoon, SK
  • Dwelling and Transience, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, BC
  • Orientation, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University Kingston, ON
  • Questions about the Place, Nova Scotia 1998, Acadia University Art Gallery, Wolfville, NS
  • Language and Land Use, Alberta 1993, Medicine Hat Museum and Art Gallery, AB
  • Places of Presence and other works, Watershed Media Centre, Bristol, England
  • Intersections: Places, General Regulations, and Memories, Mount Saint Vincent, Halifax 1998, installed on the grounds of Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, NS, for the Mount's 125th anniversary
  • Limites municipales, Québec 1997, Vu, Québec, QC, for Trois fois Trois Paysages
  • The Colour of My Voice, the Colour of the Land, Newfoundland 1996 and Selected Works, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON
  • Persistance de la géographie, La Chambre blanche, Québec, QC
  • Marlene Creates: Landworks 1979-1991, Art Gallery of Memorial University, St. John’s, NL, and tour: Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa, ON; Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB; Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI; Winnipeg Art Gallery, MB; Dalhousie University Art Gallery, Halifax, NS
  • Places of Presence: Newfoundland kin and ancestral land, Newfoundland 1989-1991, Gallery 44, Toronto, ON; Mary March Regional Museum, Grand Falls, NL; Southern Newfoundland Seamen’s Museum, Grand Bank, NL
  • Language and Land Use, Alberta 1993, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB
  • The Distance Between Two Points is Measured in Memories, Labrador 1988, Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s, NL; Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery, Corner Brook, NL; 14th Labrador Creative Arts Festival, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL; Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver, BC; Ufundi Gallery, Ottawa, ON; Gallery Connexion, Fredericton, NB; Vik Gallery, Edmonton, AB, for The Works Festival; Forest City Gallery, London, ON
  • Landworks: Baffin Island 1985, Labrador Institute of Northern Studies, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador
  • Des lieux, des sentiers, des souvenirs, Vu, Québec, QC
  • Paper, Stones and Water, Touring exhibition from the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography
  • Paper and Place, Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, SK; Centre Eye Gallery, Calgary, AB
  • On Site, Art Gallery of Memorial University, St. John’s, NL
  • Paper, Stones and Water, SAW Gallery, Ottawa, ON; Artspace, Peterborough, ON; Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON; Art and Research Exchange, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Group Exhibitions, selected
  • TheTremendous Elusive: Emily Carr and the Canadian Imaginary, Canada House Gallery, London, UK
  • The Art of Walking, Museum in the Park, Stroud, England
  • Changing Tides: Contemporary Art of Newfoundland and Labrador, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON
  • Artist Walks, Art Gallery of Peterborough, ON
  • History Becomes You, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto
  • Lost Horizon: Landscape by Other Means, Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, NS
  • engram (a memory trace), MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK
  • The Living City: Inclusive, Sustainable, Creative, Canada Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai, China
  • Reflections on Water , Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, Haldon Forest Park, Exeter, England
  • A Century of Women and Work, Workers Arts & Heritage Centre, Hamilton, ON, and national tour
  • Sur la route / On the road, Musée regional de Rimouski, QC
  • Weathervane, The Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, ON; Oakville Galleries, ON; Museum London, London, ON; La Galerie d’art de l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Montréal, QC
  • Imprints, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa, ON
  • Three Rivers: wild waters, sacred places, Yukon Arts Centre Public Art Gallery, Whitehorse, YK, and tour: Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON; Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery, University of Victoria, BC; Kelowna Art Gallery, BC; Art Gallery of Peterborough, ON
  • Exhibit A: Photography from Atlantic Canada, Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, NS, and tour: Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery, Corner Brook, NL; Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto, ON
  • The Limestone Barrens Project, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery, Corner Brook, NL, and tour: Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Owen Sound, ON; Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo, Ireland; The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, St. John’s, NL
  • Revealing the Subject, Oakville Galleries, ON, and tour
  • Artists in the Arctic, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa ON,
  • An Invested Nature, Dalhousie University Art Gallery, Halifax, NS
  • River City, The Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, AB
  • Zone 6B: Art in the Environment, The City of Hamilton and the Royal Botanical Gardens, through the Art Gallery of Hamilton, ON
  • Landshapes: Records of Actions, part of SIGHT/SITE: Visualizing Earth at the Millennium, Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida, and tour: The von Liebig Art Center, Naples, Florida; The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Survey Results Show…, National Gallery of Canada national touring exhibition: Oakville Galleries, ON; Nickle Arts Museum, Calgary, AB; Rodman Hall Arts Centre, St. Catharines, ON; Winnipeg Art Gallery, MB
  • Les lieux communs: Culture populaire et art contemporain,, Musée regional de Rimouski, QC, and CIAC – Centre international d'art contemporain, Montréal, QC.
  • Land Marks, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
  • Calanais, An Lanntair, Stornoway, Scotland, and tour: Galerie du Faouëdic, Lorient, France; Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh; Barrack Street Museum, Dundee; Maclaurin Art Gallery, Ayr; Glasgow School of Art; Ironworks Gallery, Coatbridge, Scotland.
  • Rethinking the Rural in Contemporary Newfoundland Art, Art Gallery of Newfoundland & Labrador, St. John's, NL
  • Swinging the Lead, The Old Leadworks, Bristol, England, for Bristol 96, International Festival of the Sea
  • Container 96 – Art Across Oceans , Copenhagen, Denmark, for Copenhagen 96, Cultural Capital of Europe
  • The Edge of Town, Second International Distinguished Artists Symposium and Exhibition, Joseloff Gallery, University of Hartford, Connecticut
  • Storyland: Narrative Vision and Social Space, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, AB
  • Displaced Histories / Histoires déplacées , Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa, ON
  • Land and Sea: Eight Artists from Newfoundland , Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s, NL and tour: The Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland; The Glebe House and Gallery, Churchill, County Donegal; Monaghan County Museum Gallery; Model Arts Centre, Sligo; Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford; The Boole Library, University College, Cork, Ireland
  • Margins of Memory, Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON
  • Pièces d’identités, La Centrale, Montreal, QC
  • Environment, The Photographers Gallery, Saskatoon, SK
  • Rephotographing the Land, Dalhousie University Art Gallery, Halifax, NS
  • Location and Displacement, SAW Gallery, Ottawa, ON
  • Maskunow: A Trail, A Path, Art Gallery of Memorial University, St. John’s, NL
  • Sans Démarcation, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, through the Art Gallery of Algoma and Visual Arts Ontario
  • The Physicality of Landscape: Christo, Paterson Ewen, Marlene Creates, Artspace, Peterborough, ON
  • Intervention in the Landscape, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON
  • Contemporary Canadian Photography from the Collection of the National Film Board , touring exhibition: Musée du Québec, QC; Art Gallery of Hamilton, ON; Dalhousie Art Gallery, NS; National Gallery of Canada; Winnipeg Art Gallery, MB; Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver, BC; Edmonton Art Gallery, AB
  • Elements: Points of View on Nature / Éléments : points de vue sur la nature, National Film Board of Canada, Photo Gallery, Ottawa
  • Agnes Etherington Art Centre
  • Air Canada
  • Art Gallery of Algoma
  • Art Gallery of Alberta
  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
  • Art Gallery of Peterborough
  • Beaverbrook Art Gallery
  • Canada Council Art Bank
  • Canadian Museum of Civilization
  • Carleton University Art Gallery
  • City of Montreal
  • City of Ottawa
  • Dalhousie University Art Gallery
  • Department of Foreign Affairs
  • Dunlop Art Gallery
  • Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre, Medicine Hat
  • Government of Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Health Care Corporation of St. John’s
  • MacKenzie Art Gallery
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery
  • National Gallery of Canada
  • Oakville Galleries
  • Ottawa Art Gallery
  • Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery
  • Stewart Hall Art Gallery
  • The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery
  • Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery
  • Yukon Arts Centre Gallery
  • Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Bachelor of Art Education (Hons.)
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, English 4911, Advanced Creative Writing in Poetry