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Temporary
exhibitions

SHOWCASING ARTISTS FROM QUEBEC AND CANADA FOR OVER 20 YEARS.

Walking the Paths of Robert W. Reford , by Pierre Fauteux

Equipped with his three Rolleiflex cameras from the 1960s, photographer, anthropologist and museum designer Pierre Fauteux traversed Les Jardins de Métis in the steps of Robert W. Reford. The first “artist in residence” to inhabit the gardens more than a century ago, he was also a pioneer of photography in Canada. To render homage to Elsie Reford’s husband, Pierre Fauteux took up the challenge of capturing this colourful floral paradise using black and white film, more like a sculptor than a painter. The garden spaces go from the descriptive to the suggestive with their heights of depths, textures and forms that are sometimes almost animal-like. By assembling a series of photos taken in sequence, he has created 2D panoramas that are immersive and almost tangible. Combining film and digital techniques, the large-size prints are at once a tribute to photography, to light and to the majesty of the gardens.

Presented on the main floor of Estevan Lodge.

Book your place at the inauguration Saturday the 3rd of July

Walking the Paths of Robert W. Reford by Pierre Fauteux

Equipped with his three Rolleiflex cameras from the 1960s, photographer, anthropologist and museum designer Pierre Fauteux traversed Les Jardins de Métis in the steps of Robert W. Reford. The first “artist in residence” to inhabit the gardens more than a century ago, he was also a pioneer of photography in Canada. To render homage to Elsie Reford’s husband, Pierre Fauteux took up the challenge of capturing this colourful floral paradise using black and white film, more like a sculptor than a painter. The garden spaces go from the descriptive to the suggestive with their heights of depths, textures and forms that are sometimes almost animal-like. By assembling a series of photos taken in sequence, he has created 2D panoramas that are immersive and almost tangible. Combining film and digital techniques, the large-size prints are at once a tribute to photography, to light and to the majesty of the gardens.

This exhibition is presented on the ground floor of the historic Estevan Lodge.

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photo: Pierre Fauteux

 French Braided Earth by Béatrice Boily

“The idea behind this intervention came to me instinctively. It didn’t really come to me per say since it had always been there. I remember the wind sweeping the field behind my grandparents’ house, on my mother’s side, and the idea that the wheat danced like strands of hair. Perhaps what came to me was the desire to experiment this thought: a metaphor that unites nature and body, both in my experience with matter and the resulting images.”

French Braided Earth is an intervention which took place in fall 2017. The artist braided a field of reeds, more than twenty meters long. Béatrice Boily presents these three photographs as the sole remnants providing a glimpse into her on-site experience, it being of ephemeral nature. The work has since disappeared through the cycles of the plant’s transformation.

This exhibition is presented on the interpretive screen at the entrance to the gardens.

photo: Béatrice Boily

Chemins de vagues by Nadine Boulianne

Chemin de vagues evokes the many ways humans are tied to the land. Using a multiple exposure technique, the photographs in this collection show an overlay of images taken on the banks of the St. Lawrence, where the artist spent her time while working on the project. The natural patterns Nadine Bouliane captured with her analog camera are reminiscent of human life, a life composed of experiences accumulated over time.

This exhibit is presented in the Meadow.

In collaboration with the Centre d’art de Kamouraska.

photo: Nadine Boulianne

Thin Ice by Joan Sullivan

Thin Ice is a new collection of abstract images that reflect the anguish the photographer feels about the increasingly visible and dramatic climate change in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region. Her approach gives free rein to thoughts about the thin line separating the delicacy and (alarming) fragility of our ecosystems.

This exhibit is presented in the Meadow.

In collaboration with the Centre d’art de Kamouraska.

photo: Joan Sullivan

Robert Wilson Reford and His Encounter of the Other

Robert Wilson Reford, Elsie Reford’s husband, is considered one of the first Canadian amateur photographers. In 1889, while working as an apprentice for the family business, he travelled to the West of Canada for work. His trip slowly turned into a voyage of discovery, as was common at the time. However, there was one key difference about Robert W. Reford’s voyage, he had with him his brand-new Kodak No. 1, the first commercially available camera. He travelled along the west coast taking photographs of the First Nations and Chinese workers living there. Robert W. Reford captured the lives of the members of the Haida Gwaii and Chinese communities on film, then stored them in albums. A young, global-minded entrepreneur, this collection of Robert’s photos is an anthropological record of the Canadian west at the turn of the century. But what were his real intentions? When he started photographing these communities, did he intend to create a visual anthropological record or was he simply trying to expand the family’s commercial ventures?

Over a century has passed since Robert’s trip to the west, and travelling is now common practice. But does the digital technology we use to capture and share our memories influence our relationships with the places we visit and the communities we meet? What is our relationship with the “other”? This exhibit provides a window into the development of western Canada and its communities, but also into our relationship with travelling.

This exhibition is presented in the Desjardins Room on the ground floor of historic Estevan Lodge.

A Reford Gardens production

photo: Robert W. Reford, Bibliothèque et Archives Canada

Camera Obscura

A camera obscura (precursor of the modern photographic camera) is presented here as a rectangular box reproducing the unusual Kodak Panarom No. 4. The Kodak Panarom No. 4 was the first Kodak panoramic camera and was manufactured by the camera giant between 1900 and 1926. From 1910 to 1940, Elsie Reford’s husband Robert W. Reford spent hour upon hour armed with his Kodak capturing images of the countryside surrounding the family’s estate in Grand-Métis. His photographs are an impressive record of the panoramas of La Mitis during this period. Throughout summer 2021, this installation will capture the ephemeral nature of La Mitis’ beautiful surroundings. The oversized device provides visitors with an immersive experience as they find themselves standing in the very scene they are viewing while also discovering how cameras work. This new travelling exhibit will be available in several different locations across our region. Come and make the most of this unique opportunity!

A Reford Gardens production with the financial support of the MRC de La Mitis.

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Permanent
Exhibitions

PLACE OF PRESERVATION, BOTANICAL EXPERIMENTATION AND ARCHIVING OF SPECIES SINCE 1926

Elsie Through the Eyes of…

This exhibit takes visitors through the life and times of Elsie Reford.

Best known for her gardens, Elise also had many other interests ranging from politics, to women’s health art, and international affairs. Her involvement in politics and public debates led her to cross paths with many of the era’s leading figures. For the first time, new facets of this remarkable woman will be revealed through a collection of pictures, objects and stories.

This exhibit is presented on the 2nd floor of the historic Estevan Lodge

The Museum of Tools

The Museum of Tools holds an impressive collection of garden tools acquired by the Reford Gardens in 2013.

Just like gardening techniques, gardening tools have evolved tremendously over the centuries. Tools once handmade and designed to last a lifetime are now manufactured en masse in factories. Garden tools are often considered collectors’ items and many gardeners form attachments to their tools as though they’re old friends. It is rare to see so many under one roof, and rarer still to see them on display for all gardeners to enjoy! Shears, trowels, wheelbarrows, spades… the list goes on. Come see what you can discover!

photo: Jardins de Métis

Elsie Through the Eyes of… her husband Robert W. Reford

Robert W. Reford was one of Canada’s first amateur photographers. He acquired his Kodak No. 1 in 1888, as soon as this first Kodak hit the market. This would be the beginning of his lifetime passion for photography.

In 1926, when Elsie adds a second storey to the Estevan Lodge, she sets up a dark room for her husband. Located in the couple’s private quarters, few ever had the chance to visit this room. This multimedia exhibit grants you the privilege of assisting Robert at work in his darkroom.
This exhibit is complementary to the Elsie through the eyes of… permanent exhibit, which has been presented in the Estevan Lodge since 2018. It lifts the veil on the intimate gaze Robert’s posed on his wife through his camera lens.

Presented on the second floor of Estevan Lodge

photo: Umanium

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Online
Exhibitions

History goes digital

Fishing Tales

Go back in time to explore the history of salmon fishing along the mythical Métis River in Quebec’s Bas-Saint-Laurent region. The water streams, and the salmon that navigate them, have fascinated people since time immemorial. Discover how the Métis River participated in the region’s development and how it went from being a wild oasis to a private one, only to become the protected salmon river it is today.

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Elsie – In Her Own Words

Elsie In Her Own Words is a virtual exhibit that gives online visitors an opportunity to hear Elsie Reford, the gardens’ creator, read some of the writings that will help you better understand her. In it, we hear Elsie retell personal experiences that were drawn from the writings she left behind discussing everything from her horticultural experiences to summers in Métis and her social, political, and philanthropic involvement during her time spent in Montreal throughout the rest of the year. The exhibit was created by Montreal’s Umanium firm with research by historian Karine Hébert. It was developed with the help of the Société des musées québécois and Quebec’s Ministère de la Culture et des Communications “Programme d’aide en numérique” program.

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A Trip Around the Gaspé – The Tale of an Epic Road Trip

Internationally recognized for its breathtaking landscapes and coastal route forming an 885 km loop, the Trip Around the Gaspé circuit is now over 90 years old. Through period pictures, stories, and newspaper excerpts, discover the epic story behind the tourist circuit that has long been recognized as a great destination.

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Traveling
exhibition