THE SACRED SITES: 20 years ago, my encounter with the salt-water marshes near the Bay of Fundy was so transformative that I purchased a historic church near the Tantramar Marshes and converted it to a summer studio-home.
Since then the salt water marshes have been at the center of my work and are the focal point in which all of life’s experiences are reinterpreted. The vast spaces of these marshlands unfettered by human concerns, reassuringly confirm my insignificance within the order of nature, while paradoxically empowering me, by situating me concretely within that order.
The structure and process of the work reveal the Journey. Echoing my yearly pilgrimage to these sacred spaces, my landscapes are set into a medieval Ecclesiastical frame of reference that provides a stage where the sacred coexists with the profane and the personal narrative blends with mythology.
By creating portals, windows and boxes I enter a realm of self-connectedness while anchoring myself within the universal continuum of life. These shrines evoke memories of my grandmother whose cabinet-shrine held the salvaged fragments found after the bombings. At every visit, the fragments were gently taken out, the stories told and retold. In 1945, my family dug through the rubble of bombs searching for loved ones. As an artist, I search through demolition yards saving damaged objects. These objects are then carefully reconstructed into multimedia shrines that induce a reflection on the fragility of our planet and man’s role within the eternal order of Nature.
Canadian citizen born in Hungary, Andrea Blanar is a Magna Cum Laudae Fine Arts graduate of Concordia University, Montreal. With over 45 solo exhibitions across Canada and over 80 national and international group exhibitions, her works are in numerous Public collections including the Canada Council Art Bank, Musée du Québec,Pier 21 in Halifax, NBTEL, UNB, and Air Canada.
Blanar is a Montreal artist whose summer studio is a historic Church near the Bay of Fundy’s Tantramar marshes. The central theme of her multimedia works focuses on the coastal marshes, underscoring the fragility and sacredness of our environment.
She is also an Occupational Therapist with almost 50 years experience in psychiatric hospitals, and has developed a unique back to creative work program for artists and for creative people suffering from chronic debilitating psychiatric disorders. She has been a lecturer at McGill University and a full time lecturer at Université de Montréal.
Throughout her career she has been active in arts advocacy and arts promotion both nationally and internationally. She is the founder and President of Canadian Hungarian Artists Collective, has organized and Coordinated major cultural events. These include the “Re:InSitu” In ternational Exhibitions, the Tantramar Art Symposiums in NB. She has organized numerous workshops, held senior positions with Le Conseil de la Peinture du Québec and was for many years Canada’s visual arts representative to the Canadian Conference of the Arts. The recipient of Quebec-NB and Ontario Arts Council grants, she was recently awarded Hungary’s most presitigious “Pro Kultura Hungarica” Award.