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Serena McCarroll | Three Women

Posted on August 19, 2011 by Julia Schiller

The project “Three Women” centers on the creative lives of Susanna Bauer, Bernadette Greuel and Sister Maureen Maier.
I came to know these three women while living in the tiny farming community of Bruno, Saskatchewan (population 600). All three of them grew up in rural Saskatchewan and each succeeded in forging a unique path within a place and at a time where options were limited. For all three the surrounding landscape is intrinsic to her existence.
Bernadette writes and recites poetry inspired by her role as a mother and farmer’s wife. Susanna makes art from whatever she finds around her – whether it’s pinecones, seeds, bark, feathers or road kill. Sr Maureen worked tirelessly to save the environment that she felt saved her: the convent where she became a nun at age 18. She continues to help preserve the history of her prairie sisterhood and recently authored the book ‘Women of Service for the Glory of God: Ursulines of Bruno.’

These three women are strongly defined by rural life but what gives them their voice also nearly renders them invisible in its vastness; they are both restricted by it and simultaneously inspired by it.

Rather than allow themselves to be devoured by isolation and tradition they’ve used resourcefulness and determination to surpass expectation. Until now their audience has been small, this project aims to expand it.
Medium: photography, video, sound.

Accompanying videos:
Susanna Bauer, Artist
A Sloppy Woman, Bernadette Greuel

Essay by curator Alice Dixon (PDF)

Serena McCarroll was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. She received her BFA from the Emily Carr Institute of Art in 2002. In 2006 she moved from Vancouver to rural Saskatchewan where she co-founded a tiny art-shop / music venue (alongside fellow artist Tyler Brett) called All Citizens. The project was been featured on CBC Radio One’s As It Happens and Radio Three’s Grant Lawrence Live as well as Broken Pencil Magazine.
In 2008 Serena moved to Toronto to complete her MFA at Ryerson University.
Her work has been shown across Canada in galleries such as The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Paved Arts (Saskatoon), The Nickle Arts Museum (Calgary), Itten Gallery (Vancouver), Trianon Gallery (Lethbridge) and The York Quay Centre (Toronto). Recently her project Three Women was selected as a featured exhibition in the 2011 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.

For more of Serena’s work please visit
www.serenamccarroll.com

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