In the series I call Leaving Eden, I am using the story of Original Sin as a point of departure. My interest in the story of Adam and Eve focuses around the figure of Eve, her actions, and her emotional responses to the consequences that follow. It should be noted that I look at Eve as an “everyman” character; as a representative of the experience of being human. Having worked with this idea for several years, I have noticed my opinions have shifted over time. At the start, I was fascinated by the story as a narrative and critical about the punishment doled out to Adam and Eve. I approached the story in an empathetic way, siding with Eve. Now I approach the narrative from a more objective and generalized position, looking at how all actions have consequences and the reality of one’s actions do extend beyond oneself. I have come to a place where I see this story less as one of abandonment and more as a metaphor for learning, change and growth, as well as the intense emotional struggles and potential empowerment that come with this challenging territory. I am looking at Eve’s story as a larger metaphor for the way learning, change and growth can be experienced. I believe we are all on this continuum to greater or lesser degrees throughout our lives. We all get in touch with the hard God that is experience.
In this series I have included three paintings of Eve in human form, and paintings of horses that I created as an embodiment of Eve’s emotional response to the changes that befall her. Horses, like all animals, clearly broadcast what they are feeling physically. To me, these gestures are like distilled emotions. In this sense, they are an ideal vehicle to speak about primitive urges, unconscious thoughts/wishes or operatic emotion. I intend the paintings of the horses to depict Eve’s varied emotional reactions, as if these gestures are illustrations of Eve’s internal world of feelings and urges. Each gesture can be interpreted as being positive or negative, reflecting my own complex responses to learning, change and growth. To draw a connection to the biblical story of Original Sin I am using gold leaf as the ground on which I paint, making reference to religious manuscripts and illuminations. To me, the gold leaf also brings with it a glowing quality that speaks about the richness that is experience.
The artist received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec in 1993 and has subsequently exhibited extensively throughout Canada (including at the prestigious Toronto International Art Fair annually from 2003 – 2009) and the United States, as well as Japan. Her work has been widely reviewed, received numerous awards, and is found in many fine private collections around the world. The artist enjoys a busy career as a painter, as well as teaching part-time at the Art School of Peterborough where she is currently Executive Director. As a dedicated student of classical dressage, she devotes most of her free time to riding and to caring for her magnificent horse, Levon. Anne-Marie lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband.
Selected Public Collections:
Government of Ontario
Peterborough Regional Health Centre