Three Women depicts the artistic lives of Bernadette, a farm-poetess; Susanna, a gallerist and outsider artist; and Sister Maureen, a nun who repurposed an abandoned convent as an event space. For Serena McCarroll, documenting their practices and stories is a means for her to grapple with artistic identity within the small-town community of Bruno, Saskatchewan. While McCarroll initially moved to Bruno for the possibilities afforded by cheap rent, she was soon confronted with the extreme isolation of rural prairie life–both physical and psychological–and the challenge of maintaining an artistic practice in such a context.
The subjects in Three Women pursued artistic work with no formal training. They forged their own routes for self-expression in a vast and empty place. By revealing something about the artists vis-à-vis the larger community in which they work, McCarroll’s series considers what enables an artist to thrive. Her work raises questions regarding the influences of geography, upbringing, and access to an artistic community. These images expose the social fabric underlying this rural landscape.
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