Artist Marguerite Larmand presents a myth of a species evolving rapidly because of climate change in her new exhibit at the Norfolk Arts Centre.
Dawning: Myth of a new species is on display until Jan. 11 in the upper level of the centre.
She calls her species salix migrans, which is forced to adapt to change in unfamiliar environments. The exhibit’s inspiration is global warming and the rise of invasive species.
“My work has always been presented so that there’s a wonder,” said Larmand, who lives in Paris. “There’s also a warnig. That’s what I want, I want multi-meanings to come from every observer that comes in.”
One invasive species she hopes people will think of when they see her work is phragmites, which are “spreading like wildfire,” said Larmand. “The seeds are getting in the wheels of cars and being taken everywhere.”
Her installation includes many different media, including video, audio and prints, displaying the mythical species in multiple forms of evolution.
Larmand was born in 1939 in a farming community in Victoria Harbour, Ont. She received a bachelor of art and art history from McMaster University, Hamilton, and a Masters in education from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Since retiring from the teaching profession in 1995, Larmand’s career as an artist and educator has continued with solo and group exhibitions across Canada, in Eastern Europe and in Brant and Norfolk counties.
“Since 1995, I have produced shows like this about the environment, ecology, the natural world,” she said.
She said that when she was nine she experienced a herd of armyworms destroy an entire field of crops, which sparked her wonder and worry surrounding invasive species.
“Those armyworms left such an impression of fear on my mind that I had multiple dreams of waking up in a bed full of the worms,” said Larmand. “That’s an incredible impression, it’s a fearful impression.”
The artist said she hopes people will think about climate change and invasive species after visiting the exhibit.
“This is a very unique exhibit from someone who knows how to create eye-catching pieces,” Roberta Grosland, curator of the arts centre, said in a news release.
“We’re very excited to have Marguerite share her passion with us.”
The Norfolk Arts Centre is located at ,21 Lynnwood Ave., Simcoe.