In Calgary, at the foot of the Crowchild Trail noise barrier, there is a unique place. In the basement of her home, Sabine Lecorre-Moore receives curious and passionate people in her workshop; an unmissable event for those who wish to escape. Indeed, this rectangular cocoon, bathed in incredible light, is an invitation to travel to discover Alberta.
“280, I have a few left to paint,” she laughs. On the white walls, one can appreciate these colorful snapshots. “All these paintings are timeless moments of life,” she explains.
This multi-talented visual artist started this project quite by accident. “Three years ago, a client ordered small-format landscapes of Alberta from me. Sabine complies. She will even experience great pleasure in reproducing photos taken by her. One, then two, then seven, the small acrylic frames, come to life under the artist’s brush.
His idea progresses, a series develops. “After twenty or so works, it was time to conceptualize this approach and to quantify it. She calls it Painting Alberta. She has already lived in the province for 30 years, the calculation is quick: 12 months, 30 years, 360 tables.
“There is still to be done, but I have to stop when the 360 is done, because otherwise it will become an obsession. The obsessions must stop at a given moment to move on to something else, ”she quipped lightly, while admitting that all these projects become, at one point, obsessive.
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Sabine realizes very quickly that she will not be able to complete this project without the involvement of the population. “I like to take photos, but from there to having more than 300 that would represent the whole province, it’s impossible! So she goes fishing for images, involving the generosity of her friends, but also of anonymous people. “It has become an incredible community project! “
She loves to work in a team and collaborate, but admits being a little alone in front of these small executives. Nevertheless, she considers living a “silent” collaboration by email, thanks to social networks, with all those who give her these moments of life. “I like to share my curiosity about things, and many people explain to me what is behind the photos. “
She notably cites the expression of the rurality of the province. “When you look at each other’s Instagrams, you realize that in a way, their moments do not exist for us, city dwellers …” She then describes this image of a family from the northeast who shares that pride in having been able to prepare the pig they had raised for months.
In front of her, a sketch takes shape. “This image of Lac Sainte-Anne and this character evokes much more than a simple self-portrait. In fact, it also evokes an annual gathering place for Native people, First Nations and Métis, and the site of the only Catholic pilgrimage that took place at the end of the 19th century in Alberta.
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Passionate, she hopes to represent a comprehensive cultural, religious, ethnic and aesthetic palette of the province that welcomed her 30 years ago. Moreover, some of his themes are particularly close to his heart. “Before starting the Métis and First Nations series, I took a course atUniversity of Alberta: Indigenous Canada. It gave me the knowledge and the fortitude to present myself to them appropriately, and the result of our collaboration is amazing, ”she explains with satisfaction.
“I hide the checkmarks, or rather I check the boxes of what I haven’t done yet,” she said with humor. “This project is not my project, it is a solidarity project belonging to Albertans”, she indicates, before emphasizing the French-speaking aspect of this adventure. “The Francophonie is omnipresent in Alberta, so I invite all Francophones to send me photographs of events or places that are significant for our community. ”
While “the Covid-19 and the confinement that followed have stopped time”, Sabine knows that the project is expected in Quebec next summer. In the meantime, she hopes to be able to offer it to all the small communities in Alberta. “I hope this project will be showcased in all small communities in Alberta, regardless of location and facilities. My work is already in demand in Quebec, it will certainly be exhibited in museums and art galleries, but I must also share it with those who have accompanied me on this incredible journey to thank them for this wonderful collaboration. “
If you want to participate in this project, send your photos to [email protected]