Défricheuses, fortes et fabuleuses
A work by Ariane Ouellet
The work Défricheuses, fortes et fabuleuses was produced for the SDC Centre-ville de Rouyn-Noranda by Valéry Hamelin and Ariane Ouellet.
Artist designer : Ariane Ouellet
Mediums : Acrylic paint on aluminum panel
Dimensions : 30 feet x 12 feet 4 inches
Year : 2020
Photo credit : Ariane Ouellet
It was in the 1930s that Abitibi opened up to colonization. At that time, photography and cinema made it possible to capture the phenomenon, the best documentation of its kind in the history of Quebec. However, at the heart of the archives as well as in the social life of the time, the place of women is kept in the shadows and the pioneers are very little present in the collective memory.
This mural is therefore a humorous wink of respect and admiration towards all those who paved the way and whose titanic work deserves to be recognized throughout time.
- Ariane Ouellet, artist designer.
The origin of the mural
The image behind this mural is in fact an archival photo from the BAnQ collection of workers during the construction of the roads in Beaudry in the 1930s. Photos of miners, lumberjacks and men building houses are quite numerous, compared to the archives devoted to women's work in the home and in the fields. Even in the documents during that time, the women's names are often replaced by their husbands' names. History does not pay tribute to them. It is therefore with the idea of underlining the great contribution of women to the colonization and development of Quebec that the original image has been somehow tampered with and the men's faces have been replaced by women's faces. Thus, we can also show that they cleared the landscape opened the way, both in a concrete and symbolic way.
Ariane Ouellet is a professional visual artist. After college studies in photography at Cégep du Vieux-Montréal and Concordia University, she completed a multidisciplinary bachelor's degree in visual arts at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
While continuing to work as a studio artist and exhibiting regularly in exhibition centers in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, then at the Rock Lamothe art contemporain Gallery, she began in 2015 to develop an expertise in mural art. In 2020, in addition to sharing her knowledge as a trainer, mentor or cultural mediator through the Artist in the School program, she devotes most of her time to mural projects throughout the region. Among her outstanding achievements, she was the project manager and master builder of the mural tribute to Richard Desjardins Des territoires coulés dans nos veines, co-created in 2018 in an underpass in Rouyn-Noranda.
This mural received the Prix Culture et développement 2019 from the Réseau Les Arts et La Ville, and was selected for the Public Art Review of the Creative City Network of Canada in October of the same year.
Website : arianeouellet.ca