Guillaume Pelletier, Laurie Pelletier Brochu, Claire Robichaud and Simon Pelletier, Baie-des-Sables, 2011. ©Gabor Szilasi
These past 12 years, celebrated photographer Edward Burtynsky has traveled the world to take stock of the production, distribution and use of oil. His in-depth exploration, spread out over a number of themes, probes the “life cycle” of this essential fuel. “We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living,” states the photographer, “yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.” Edward Burtynsky has received numerous awards, including, in 2011, the Gold Prize in conceptual photography from the National Magazine Awards and the MOCCA Award in Contemporary Art (both Toronto).
For his part, Gabor Szilasi, a documentary photographer recognized for his humanitarian vision, has put down roots in the Gaspé during two artist’s residencies over the last two years. Using photography as a medium, in 2010 he documented his visit to the north coast, and then in 2011, to Matapedia Valley by way of Baie-des-Chaleurs. Gaspesian Encounters brings together in Gaspé 30 portraits resulting from those residencies. The artist is a winner of the Governor General’s Award (2010) and the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas (2009).
Lastly, Doreen Lindsay creates images derived from her personal experiences of the last 40 years by combining painting, printmaking and photography. With Plants: Indigenous and Captured, she presents in Gaspé a selection of black and white photos of trees and grasses hand-colored in oil.
Over 30 photographers in 14 host municipalities
Until September 10, the public is invited to journey over the Gaspé Peninsula and follow the artistic trajectory of over 30 photographers from here and elsewhere in the 14 municipalities playing host to Rencontres: Cap-Chat, Marsoui, Rivière-à-Claude, Grande-Vallée, Gaspé, Percé, Chandler, Paspébiac, Bonaventure, New Richmond, Maria, Carleton-sur-Mer, Nouvelle and Matapedia.
From August 18 to 25, the professional week will be held, which brings together all the photographers taking part in Rencontres around the subject of creation. This will be a unique opportunity for the public to meet – at projections, workshops and lectures – the more than 30 professional and emerging photographers from the Gaspé, from Québec, from elsewhere in Canada and from the United States and Europe who are part of Rencontres this year.