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Artists at school


Nathalie Levasseur

Visual arts
Sculpture, Environmental installations, Performance


Nathalie Levasseur
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The sculptural assemblages of Nathalie Levasseur incorporate various plant, animal and mineral materials, thereby putting spectators face to face with their natural and cultural environment. The artist also explores the performance, land art and installation fields in an environmental awareness perspective. Self-taught, she transposes into a contemporary and multi-disciplinary vision the know-how that has been transmitted to her by various cultures, notably by a Japanese master. Having obtained three bursaries from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, she has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Canada, Japan and Spain. She is a member of the Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec and is actively involved in various artists’ centres. Keenly interested in the notion of transmission, Nathalie Levasseur offers numerous courses and workshops centering on the techniques that she practices, notably at the Montréal Botanical Garden.

Proposed approach and type of activities

In order to understand the living world of which they are part, students work with natural materials that are living or undergoing transformation. The manipulation of these materials brings students into contact with the notions of fragility and the ephemeral, which govern all living organisms. Beyond the idea of recycling, young people become conscious of the fact that the respectful use of the materials allows them to protect the ecosystem while creating biodegradable works that may be reintroduced in the natural life cycle.

The artist begins by presenting her works and the primitive artistic expression techniques that she uses. The first part of the workshop is devoted to the creation of a traditional basic structure by students. Participants will realize the importance of preserving this prehistoric knowledge, which is still widespread in our lives. Based on a chosen theme and using various natural materials, young people will create a personal work using this basic structure, reflecting their own human and artistic development. Each work may be incorporated in a collective work or be kept by the student. A review of the work and its meaning underscores the distance between the creator’s intention and the spectator’s perception, an important dimension in the artistic development of young people.

Examples of activities

Prior collection
The teacher prepares the activity by having students reflect on ecological, biodegradable, recyclable and compostable materials. Participants will familiarize themselves with these notions during a collection of materials that will be used during the activity.

For a better world
Students are invited to transform the basic structure into a work of art mirroring their personal reflections, openness to the world, place and responsibility in the living universe. The support reflects the transmission of knowledge, whereas the final work reveals the concerns of each participant about the future.

Identity mirror
Working from the basic structure, participants create a totem representation of their person, as they see themselves in the present or the future. Upon presenting their work to their fellow classmates, they realize the difference between the projected image and the perceived image.

An environmental, ecological and ephemeral work
Each student is invited to create, using the basic structure, a work that reflects his or her vision of the ecosystem. The individual works will then be brought together in a plant structure created for the occasion by the artist. The final collective work will be displayed on an outside wall of the school, where it will evolve and progressively reintegrate nature over two or three years.

Once the basic structure is completed, each student passes his/her work on to another classmate in order to illustrate the concept that a living organism is always in relation with other living organisms. Based on the structure received, each participant creates a representation of the plant world in its various life phases. This cooperation workshop makes young people aware of the notion of openness to others.

By using basket weaving, an ancestral and primitive skill, students make an Eye of God while learning about its origin and secular utility. Employing this technique and relying on natural materials, participants then transpose this know-how into a personal work. Once the work is completed, the young people share their motivation and their approach with the group.

Special conditions

The workshop requires a room that is suited to plastic arts (space and access to water), as well as various non-reusable materials at a maximum cost of $100 per day of hosted activities.

For information

Nathalie Levasseur
Phone : 819 322-6053

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



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