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27 October 2022

October’s Don’t Send Me A Card featured artist

Catherine Lamontange is our featured artist for our Don’t Send Me A Card e-cards in October.

I’m a Baha’i artist residing in Saguenay, Quebec. After completing my college programme in Chicoutimi, I took additional training in silkscreen before training in lithography. 

Feeling intimidated and confused by the contradictory reality of the art world, I chose to pursue a career in teaching, first in art, and then in English as a Second Language (ESL). I continued to be involved in the local art scene and I began a series of accidental fractals, which later would be reinterpreted and integrated into my collage work. In the following years, I started the Association of Visual Arts with other artists from Lac-Saint-Jean before moving back to Saguenay. 

‘Caille’ by Catherine Lamontange

The original ‘Caille’ measures about 11cm square. It is a collage made from silkscreens. These accidental fractals were then cut and reworked to form a small quail.  

In 2007, while recuperating from a mysterious fall, I took painting and monotype classes where I also made a new fractal-inspired botanical suite. I made two more fractal-inspired suites at the studio during the summer when I had a break from teaching, printing another suite inspired by a combination of figurative and botanical images. 

‘Starry Whale Scape’ by Catherine Lamontange

In 2015, I received a diagnosis of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) and retired from teaching. I was relieved to learn what had been causing my multiple falls and other ailments, and though I missed teaching, I relished having more time to do art. When I was diagnosed, I read everything I could about MS on the internet.   

I was very impressed with the evidence-based approach of Professor Jelinek. When I found the Overcoming MS Program. I was very happy to adopt an approach that fit so well with the recommendations of the founder of my own faith. In 2020, I raised money for Overcoming MS. The show featured imaginary blooms, happily grounded in the soil, and stretching to the sun.  

‘Fractals en Bourgeons’ by Catherine Lamontange

‘Fractals en Bourgeons’ (above) is a small collage measuring about 11cm square made of fragments from two fractal-like silkscreens. It was re-cut in a bloom inspired by the Feigenbaum constant (used to describe fractals), which is one of my favourite sources of inspiration.  

‘Je Suis Un Oiseau Aux Ailes Brisees’ by Catherine Lamontange

In ‘Je Suis Un Oiseau Aux Ailes Brisees’ (above), the world of this small bird is falling apart; she is wrenched apart and is struggling – unsuccessfully — to keep it all together. Yet the dear little creature flies on. “It is the viewer who has the power to pull it all together and form the missing links that connect one part of her being to another, much like the wonderful support and fellowship we can find when we stumble across the OMS community when we are first diagnosed, giving us hope to keep on.” 

You can purchase e-cards through Don’t Send Me a Card featuring designs by Catherine and other OMSers. All donations benefit the Overcoming MS mission of informing, supporting and empowering people affected by MS worldwide.