The golden voices of Christine Berthiaume

LETTERS. A magnificent portrait of the artist Atikamekw Jacques Newashish, made two years ago, has just opened the doors to Christine Berthiaume for an original exhibition presented this spring in Montreal.

Cultural mediation project presented by the Festival interculturel du conte de Montréal at the Maison de la culture Janine-Sutto, Voix d’or was born from the union for a few months of three storytellers (Saulo Giri, Judith Poirier and Nadine Walsh) with a dozen of older adults to create an intergenerational conversation rich in artistic and human potential.

For three days this winter, Shawinigan’s photographer interfered with the groups to draw representative portraits of each storyteller’s universe. Fifteen of these black and white photographs form the framework of the Voix d’or exhibition presented from April 24 to May 15.

For Christine Berthiaume, this photo reporting experience was a very rewarding first time that gave her the desire to go further down this path. “In my usual job, I have time to think about a concept, to examine the decoration, to study the light. There it was the opposite. She had no idea where she was going, who she was going to photograph. It was a lot of improvisation. For example, with Judith Poirier’s group we took photos in the streets where the older ones grew up. »

The Shawinigan photographer’s participation in this Montreal exhibition is the result of a photo by Jacques Newashish that captivated Kathia Rock, an Innu singer and storyteller who works with Samian in particular “He came to Shawinigan for a photo shoot and talked about my work with the people of the Montreal Intercultural Storytelling Festival. That’s how they invited me to participate in the Voix d’or project”, explains Christine Berthiaume.

Now based at La Factrie 701 (401, 7th Avenue), a place that brings together artists from the Grand-Mère sector, the photographer would like to develop a similar project in her hometown. “I was born on 7th Avenue in Grand-Mère. My studio is in the neighborhood where I grew up and for which I still have a great attachment. I would like to do a photo report with the people who live there. I do school photography, wedding and family photos, but it’s always the creative projects that appeal to me the most. Photography for me is an art that allows me to express the things I have to say”, she concludes.

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