Monique Martin

Continuous, Installation Okotoks Art Gallery
2015 Ink on Mulberry paper, multi block linocut
Photo credit: Monique Martin

Artist Biography

Monique is a multi-disciplinary artist from Saskatoon, Canada. She has exhibited her artwork in more than 260 significant solo, invited and juried group exhibitions in ten countries. More than 50 of these were solo exhibitions in public galleries. Renowned international curators have selected her artwork for various exhibitions worldwide. Her works are held in more than forty-four public and private collections in ten different countries.

Her work often uses significant symbols or comments on contemporary social issues. Monique creates bodies of work rather individual pieces and focuses on specific concepts, she undertakes extensive research prior to creating her work, often incorporating historically significant symbols and images to express her ideas. Her works push the boundaries of standard printmaking: enormous scale printmaking, installation based printmaking and working with three dimensions in printmaking.

Every action, interaction, and observation produces an energy that vibrates within her and connects her to the people with whom she is in contact. Sometimes a small incident, a promise only half-intended, a touch, or a casual remark, can set off a chain of events that will alter lives and change destinies. Like a pebble in a pond, the rings of energy keep moving outward from the initial touch, whether it is physical, emotional, spiritual or mental. It is in responding to these ever-changing ripples in the connections between humans that inspires her work. Her work utilizes everchanging concepts and images because her art is a way of exploring who she is, who she was, who she is becoming, and where she fits into the world around her.

Monique was Artist-in-Residence for Disneyland Paris, Paris, France (2013), the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival (2013), the Saskatchewan Children’s Festival (2012), Bytown Museum, Ottawa, Canada (2010), Spalding, United Kingdom (2008), Nice, France (2006), Vallauris, France (2006), Mount Vernon, USA (2004), Wynyard, Tasmania, Australia (2003) and Coaticook, QC, Canada (2001).

Continuous, Detail of panel, 2016
Ink on Mulberry paper, multi block linocut, Photo credit: Len Thomas

Exhibition Statement

Life is a continuous cycle of growing and changing. Nothing is static. There is, however a commonality amongst animals and insects to produce enough offspring to continue the species and combat the changes in the environment. Bees coalesce in the hive forming a unified machine that can withstand almost everything, even human intervention. The plight of the bee is the reason for the creation of this immersive installation that takes you into the life of the bee.

Continuous must be experienced. Continuous is a multi-sensory art installation augmented by the scent of beeswax and the sound of buzzing bees that comments on the steady decline in honeybee populations and the devastating effects of their collapsed c o l o n i e s . Your eyes are drawn to the floor-to-ceiling linocut prints consisting of 45,000 hexagons, and approximately 3,000 bees on 1,200 square feet of mulberry paper. Your other senses are engaged by the scent of beeswax and the sound of humming that fills the air. Walking through this paper beehive encourages you to see yourself linked to the history, life cycles, and health of bees.

Monique’s interest in bees and the human relationship to them began during a residency in Paris, where she was able to see colony collapse in person. This experience changed her as a person and an artist. Monique spent a year researching the patterns and lifecycles of bees, interacting with hives and learning from beekeepers. Her large intricate prints show an intimate understanding of hives in various states of health, reminding us of the need to address the deterioration of bee communities and how this reflects human environmental impact.

We are all linked through relationships, the environment, our community and our past experiences. The hexagons are viewed as a symbol of this linkage to the environment and to others all over the world. Covid has shown us how closely linked we are as humans. The environment and the human world functions in an absolute way so that the loss of one species creates a cacophony of change throughout the world.

Continuous, Installation , Installation at Elsie Scherle Art Gallery Last Mountain Lake, 2019
Ink on Mulberry paper, multi block linocut, Photo credit: Len Thomas

Monique Martin’s Continuous invites the visitor into a multi-sensory installation of a beehive. Bringing the viewer up close and personal with the hive inhabitants through large scale linocut printed panels which hang like honeycomb frames from the ceiling. A soft buzzing sound scape and the scent of bees’ wax accompany the prints creating a fully immersive gallery experience.

Continuous builds a life size picture of colony collapse, illustrating the depletion of bees as one moves through the space to the back of the hive. The preciousness of these magnificent and life sustaining, tiny beasts becomes undeniably relatable at this human scale; Sustaining their existence inextricably linked to our own. Monique says “enduring, surviving and living all ring true on the continuous survival cycle”

The delicate existence of the bees, the protagonists at the center of this exhibition, is palpable. Yet, the work remains bright and warm as it invites you through these contemplations.

The Mary E. Black Gallery is extremely pleased to invite you to immerse yourself in the glow of this beautiful print exhibit. Welcoming in the return of spring with its honey-colored hangings and sounds of life cycle.


The artist would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Saskatchewan Arts Board in receiving an Independent Artist Grant

Published ©2019 by the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. All photography courtesy of the artist unless otherwise stated.