So says Eugene LeFrançois, well-known visual artist and injured worker activist, in a recent profile of his work – “The Art of Eugene LeFrançois” / Duncan Weller (Art on the Edge, Aug. 3, 2017). In the article he speaks also of the inspiration behind his free-flowing streams of consciousness art pieces: … “I feel that a tree is a living being. The only thing is we as humans can’t communicate with it. Just like fire and plants. They all have a story and I try to get that story to people who see my work, in a small way …”
Eugene has also shared his own story and experiences with Ontario’s workers’ compensation system following his injury as a forest worker. A long-standing member of the Thunder Bay and District Injured Workers’ Support Group, and former president of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG), he has been advocating over 3 decades for needed changes – through formal submissions to government and Workplace Safety Insurance Board, participation in research projects and conferences, and in street demonstrations drawing attention to compensation injustice and poverty.