Our Collective Well-Being: The Human Connection with the Natural World

Category: arts 85

Cheryl Lavigne’s summer residency for the Fredericton Arts Alliance runs August 1-7.

Fredericton Arts Alliance

Cheryl Lavigne wants to remind us through her art that our collective well-being is based on attention to the natural world and to each other.

Lavigne intends to expand her visual language and break away from her current creative tendencies and general habits. During her residency for the Fredericton Arts Alliance, Aug. 1–7, Lavigne will paint floral forms she found in neighbourhood residential gardens.

For this project, the mixed media artist is interested in the assistance of gardeners from the Fredericton area who share a love of nature. Lavigne dropped invitations in mailboxes where she found beautiful gardens. Those interested have gladly responded to her invitation.

“Some gardeners who lovingly tend to their gardens experience mutualism in this process,” she said. “The experience of handling the soil and caring for the flowers sometimes benefits both the gardener and the garden itself.”

Lavigne enjoys learning and creative problem solving through explorating of a variety of media: painting, drawing and mixed media collage and assemblage. Her creative practice is rooted in the outdoors, where she can borrow natural forms from nature.

“In my work I am drawn to naturally occurring forms. I am particularly inspired by the forms of decay, and the earth’s natural rhythms and patterns,” she said.  

Lavigne likes drawing, painting, and taking pictures outside. She gathers found objects on her excursions across the province’s wetlands, fields, and forests and frequently uses them in mixed-media collages.

“My artwork is about connection, interconnectedness, and particularly, our human experience of the land and our interactions with our natural surroundings,” she said.

On Aug. 6–7, weather permitting, Lavigne will be spending time in the gardens at both the Windsor Court Retirement Residence and Pine Grove Nursing Home. These pop-up events will be open to the residents of these facilities and their families.  

“I hope to paint while engaging with these members of our community and will invite them to take part in a creative activity using the materials that I will have on hand.”

Since COVID-19, each FAA residency has been virtual, with artists profiling their work on social media. In 2021, the FAA instituted a real-time “pop-up” event where the artist could interact with visitors. An exhibition in the fall shows off the work created during the summer. Follow Cheryl’s work on Facebook for more information.

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