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Concordian Laurence Poirier is off to the Swedish island of Gotland this summer

The MFA candidate in studio arts is this year’s recipient of the Brucebo Fine Art Summer Residency Scholarship
April 18, 2024
Young woman with long dark hair, wearing a blue jumpsuit and sitting at a desk with her artwork on the desk and wall behind her.
Laurence Poirier: “I feel that I can envision a future involving artistic practice.” | Photo by Evridiki Spiliadis

Laurence Poirier, an MFA candidate in Concordia’s Department of Studio Arts, is the 2024 recipient of the Brucebo Fine Art Summer Residency Scholarship.

This award supports promising Canadian graduate students in the visual arts by offering a three-month working residency in picturesque Själsö, Sweden. Poirier, BFA 12, specializes in photography. She will have access to the Brucebo studio cottage located on the historic island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, in addition to receiving a financial stipend of $7,500.

The scholarship was established in 1972 by the Brucebo Fine Art Scholarship Foundation. It honours the legacy of William Bruce Blair, one of Canada’s earliest impressionist painters, and his wife, Swedish sculptor Carolina Benedicks-Bruce.

“I am really excited and happy about this opportunity,” Poirier says.

“I have this idea I’ve been developing over the past two years during my master's. Being able to bring my project to life motivates me and gives me confidence in it. I feel that I can envision a future involving artistic practice.”

Exhibition installation of artistic pieces — small sculptures and a larger piece shaped like crumpled paper. Installation Topographie et Rochers, by Laurence Poirier, 2023.

'Introspection and artistic exploration’

Poirier’s artistic practice centres around the study of material by photographing paper or ceramic sculptures, with a focus on disconnection with our environment and the use of salvaged materials. With her upcoming residency in Sweden, Poirier looks forward to exploring the island’s natural beauty and history while immersing herself in a new creative environment.

“This residency is an opportunity for introspection and artistic exploration,” she notes. “I will get to create a series of works outside of my comfort zone and delve deeply into themes of distance, isolation and touch through the island landscape of Gotland.”

She adds that she aims to produce sculptures using biodegradable materials such as paper and to create images in photography and video of the environment surrounding the residency.

A photograph of a hanging sculpture shaped like crumpled paper. Portrait-Papier, by Laurence Poirier, 2023.

Originally from Montreal, Poirier practised commercial photography for a decade after her BFA, before returning to Concordia for a master’s and to reconnect with a more artistic practice.

“I felt like taking my time, creating and reflecting on the message I wanted to convey through art. I entered the master's program with a very different idea than what manifested in my work. I somewhat let the work dictate my message and interests, and my anxieties, anger or joy revealed themselves on their own.” 

As Poirier prepares for her residency in Själsö, she reflects on it as part of her larger artistic and professional journey.

“Residencies are integral to my artistic practice; they are crucial moments of intensive creation. Given that this is my first residency of such a long duration, I believe it will be decisive in shaping the direction of my future work.”

Find out more about 
Concordia’s Department of Studio Arts.



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