Using a unique technique of incorporating the grain and figure of wood with layers of diluted oil paint, Rosanna Marmont’s landscape paintings complicate the romantic portrayal of Western prairie with the apprehensive stare of a cow, a decrepit trailer home, a discarded shopping cart. The viewer is challenged with an image that grapples between the mystic historic West and the contemporary one, that shows beauty of this landscape without editing that which is uncomfortable.
The enchantment of the prairie exists in its dichotomies; it is simultaneously inviting and foreboding, light and dark, empowering and humbling, estranging and familiar, endangered and everlasting. Within these diverging sentiments the viewer subconsciously experiences the dilemma of situating ourselves as humans within nature.
Rosanna Marmont works from her studio in Okotoks, Alberta as well as make-shift studio sites throughout North America, including Arizona, Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Her paintings and sculptures are sold internationally and are exhibited predominately in Western Canada.
Born in rural New Zealand, a life of continuous travel and exploration gave rise to Rosanna’s first experience of Western Canada in southern Alberta. The impact of the plains landscapes later became a central muse in her creative endeavours, resurfacing in the form of landscape painting during her studies at Concordia University. After obtaining a BFA majoring in painting and drawing, Rosanna’s work has focused primarily on a unique perspective of Western landscape. Her preferred canvas of wood emphasizes the natural grain and figure through hundreds of thinly applied layers of oil pigments. Her technique is self-developed and unique to her work. Conceptually she addresses our human relationship to land and the romanticism, identity, nationality, culture, and aesthetics that are involved in this complex dynamic.