From July 13 2015 to July 24 2015

I was here / J'étais ici

Monica Mercedes Martinez (Edmonton - Winnipeg)

Residency from July 13 to July 24, 2015

People from around the world have travelled to Canada for a chance at a better life in a country that at times could be unwelcoming. What are their stories? How many people have passed through the historical areas surrounding La Centrale? What traces did they leave of their time there before maybe moving on to other neighbourhoods, towns or provinces?

Artist Monica Mercedes Martinez invites the public to join her investigation of these questions as part of her ceramic based project I was here/J'étais ici. Using the gallery as a hub, Martinez will take her mobile clay studio around the neighbourhood, taking clay impressions of buildings and leaving ceramic calling cards in her wake. These clay impressions will be laid out in the gallery where the artist will document her daily making experiences and her interactions with the public on the walls of the gallery. The public is invited to add their own memories of the spaces that surround them and the lasting impressions that the neighbourhood has left on them. Ceramic calling cards will be available to the public to take with them in the hope that they use them to mark their own journeys through their own spaces.

Monica Mercedes Martinez was born in Quillotta, Chile and due to political unrest her family immigrated to Canada moving extensively before settling down in Edmonton, Alberta. This has instilled a love of travelling and an interest in politics in the artist that is reflected in her art practice.

Martinez has given numerous lectures and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Martinez has participated in two international residences one at ICS in Kecskemet, Hungary and the other at the PWS in Jingdezhen, China. She was the artist in residence at the Edge Artist Village and Gallery in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Martinez received her BFA from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2010, and her MFA at the University of Manitoba in 2012. She was nominated for the RBC Emerging artist award in 2013 and has taught as a Sessional Instructor in the School of Art at the University of Manitoba.

The project I was here / J’étais ici by Monica Mercedes Martinez is presented at Winnipeg, in partnership with Mentoring Artists for women’s art (MAWA). To be more specific, the work is part of the residency program La central-MAWA, who,s prupose is to encourage the dialogue between La Centrale’s members and Winnipeg’s artistic scene. The soul purpose of this conversation is the creation of a network useful for the feminist artists based in Montréal, which would grant them the opportunity to evolve their artistic practices in an autonomous environment.

From July 2 to July 31, MAWA will welcome in residency Lamathilde, artist member of La Centrale!