Nadia Aït - Saïd is a native of the Gaspé Peninsula. She divides her time between the sea in Gaspésie, the Montreal urban setting and frequent trips abroad. For over a decade, in parallel with her artistic practice, she has been deepenning her understanding of the applied Eastern philosophies as living wisdoms, especially those of the Tibetan tradition. Thus, the two paths intertwine flexibly, interacting and feeding each other in the same territory of interiority .
Openness, silence and presence are at the heart of her approach. All her research tends towards an understanding of the notion of identity in connection with impermanence. Origin is the title she gave to all of her artistic work. The texture - material always present in her work metaphorically illustrates this notion of essence that she attempts to identify. Consisting of pleated paper, pasted and dyed, it gives her work a timelessness that gracefully combines rough accents and modernity.
Attached to this texture - material are various altered materials, some picked, some received as offerings : Tibetan flags aged by weather, clay, incense ash, driftwood, rusted metal, pieces of fabric already worn, scraps of writing, etc. With her, the gesture of the hand that gratefully receives is a ritual, inviting the heart to a communion with perpetual motion, with the impermanence of all things. The artist molds, assembles, sews, pleats and scribes, magnifying the finds that become, in a minimalist setting, invitation to dispossession and introspection.
Her production consists of mixed-media artworks and immersive installations. More recently, she has begun exploring performance and video, which have opened other avenues. Driven by a great desire to share, she also encourages the community to collaborate regularly in the work in progress.
This corpus of works has been presented in different locations: artists centres, cultural centres, museums, galleries and embassies in Canada, the United States, in France, Belgium and in Japan. Her works are also part of private collections in Quebec and in Europe and of public collections such as Loto-Quebec in Montréal. In 2012, Nadia Aït-Saïd received an artist grant from the CALQ-CRÉ for the realization of her ENGRAMME installation. The installation concludes a ten years cycle of research and creation. ENGRAMME subscribes to the artist's approach as a transitional work.
The Musée de la Gaspésie, official partner of her project, launched this exhibition. It has also be presented in 2014 at the Centre des arts visuels d'Amos. ENGRAMME was finalist for the "Artwork of the Year - Gaspésie" award in 2014. The installation will be shown in 2015-2016 in various locations, including the Centre d'exposition Lethbridge, in Ville St-Laurent and at the Maison de la culture Mercier, in Montreal. Recipient of a grant from CALQ-CRE in 2015 for her new MADRAS project, the artist currently focuses on a more relational and participatory approach. This recent project opens up new fields of exploration and will be made from thousands of scarves that she is currently gathering worldwide.