Low Water; Fort Point Road, Weymouth, Nova Scotia

by Mark Marchesi

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Artist Statement

 

These images are part of the project Evangeline Trail, begun while on residency in Nova Scotia in 2012. The series takes its name from a scenic byway that travels the Eastern Shore of the maritime province. The route itself is named after the epic 1847 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie. The area was first colonized by the French in the early 1600s, and was known as Acadia. In an event later immortalized by Longfellow, British forces took over the region and expelled the Acadians to southern territories. Eventually they were allowed to return, and descendants of those original settlers still populate the region. Having married into a large French Canadian family, and being fascinated with New World maritime and agricultural history, this enclave naturally intrigues me. The coastline is shaped by the largest tidal ranges in the world. Valleys and lowlands are wild, yet highly cultivated. Fog, fierce winds and extreme cold reign over the land much of the year. But despite natural and political adversity, this stoic culture has adapted to create and maintain a uniquely tranquil sense of place. Inspired by Longfellow's text describing the 18th-century French settlement, I set out to weave a modern day story about the Acadian Coast through pictures. In a style that lies between documentary and narrative, I'm working to capture the region's character through landscapes, architecture and portraits: the fishing villages and towering churches along Saint Mary's Bay, the orderly farmland of the Annapolis Valley and the dramatic transformation of the intertidal zone between high and low water. These are all verses in my own tale of Acadia.

 

Mark Marchesi

 

Mark Marchesi was born in 1977 in a suburb of NYC. He earned a BFA in photography from Maine College of Art in 1999. Mark's photographs have been exhibited widely throughout the U.S. Notable group shows include the Hey, Hot Shot! Spring 2007 Edition winners' showcase at Jen Bekman Gallery and Port of Portland: A Ship Shaped History at Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine. Solo exhibitions consist of The Town and the City at Nelson Hancock Gallery in Dumbo in 2008, and Slack Water in 2011 at Space Gallery in Portland, ME. Mark has received two Maine Arts Commission grants to support photographic efforts, and he was accepted to attend a Maine College of Art sponsored residency in Nova Scotia in 2012. His images have been published in two photography books about Maine, including Maine: A Photo Portrait of the Pine Tree State. Mark currently resides in the Portland area with his wife and two young daughters. 

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