Marnie Lidstone was born in 1983 in Winnipeg, but grew up in Beauséjour and spent summers at her family’s cottage. Before kindergarten, she was drawing and doing crafts, and even wrote a book titled “When I Grow Up, I Want to Be an Artist.” She has focused on painting for the last 15 years, and started making sculptures during her Artbeat residency. Meanwhile, she has earned an Honours BA in History & Political Science and a Certificate in Social Work, with a specialization in Concurrent Disorders. She has worked as a Welfare (EIA) case manager.
Having lost some key family members, Marnie expresses her emotions in landscapes set on the northern lakes of her memory. These display a fauve-like palette and a palpable loneliness worthy of the Group of Seven, whom she cites as an influence, along with the bright colours of Québec landscape artist Louise Martineau. Similarly, Marnie’s tropical landscapes convey a sense of exclusion or despite their vivid colours. While at Artbeat, Marnie has begun producing more abstract pieces. Her multimedia sculptures dramatically represent the struggle with bipolar disorder and side-effects of medication.
Marnie says she is moving from perfectionism focused on the product, to a freer and more relaxed enjoyment of art as process. “The Artbeat experience has saved me,” she says. “It’s a place where I can belong, express darker experiences, even wade through grief, and find space and support. As I was helped while I was struggling, I now want to give back.”