Marlene Creates is an environmental artist and poet who lives in Portugal Cove, NL, surrounded by the six-acre patch of boreal forest that has been the focus of her work since 2002. She studied visual arts at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and then lived and worked in Ottawa for twelve years. In 1985 she moved to Newfoundland — the home of her maternal ancestors, who were from Lewisporte and Fogo Island.
For almost 40 years her work has been an exploration of the relationship between human experience, memory, language and the land, and the impact they have on each other. Since the mid-1970s her work has been presented in over 350 solo and group exhibitions and screenings across Canada, and in Austria, China, Denmark, England, France, India, Ireland, Korea, Scotland, and the United States. Since 2005 she has held over 40 site-specific, multidisciplinary events in The Boreal Poetry Garden.
She has also presented over 200 guest lectures, in Canada, Chile, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among them the National Gallery of Canada, the Glasgow School of Art, the University of Oxford, the University of Plymouth, the University of Hartford, the Edinburgh College of Art, and the Universities of Turin, Venice, and Siena. She was a plenary speaker at the conference Space + Memory = Place of the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada (ALECC) at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna in 2012.
Her awards include Artist of the Year from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (1996), the CARFAC National Visual Arts Advocate Award (2009), the VANL-CARFAC Long Haul Award for Excellence in Visual Arts (2009), and the BMW Exhibition Prize at the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto (2013). She received the Grand Jury Award at the 2014 Yosemite International Film Festival for one of her documentary video-poems, which was reproduced in the book, Brickle, Nish, and Knobbly: A Newfoundland Treasury of Terms for Ice and Snow (Boulder Publications, 2015).
She was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2001.
Marlene Creates is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto.
photo credit: Malin Enström