Playing with colors
"Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgandy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries." - Jack Kerouac
Fire is the force of nature to which I surrendered this ceramic sculpture. I had no choice but to let go, and let the smoke and the flames transform the surface of the piece. The process of pit firing gives results that are both unpredictable and fascinating.
Artist residency - ceramic sculpture
During the next few months, I will be the artist in residence at the Centre des arts de la Petite église d'Edmundston. During my residency, I will be researching and exploring different aspects related to large ceramic sculpture. I will also be working on the creation of an installation titled "WOMEN" that will be presented at the Congrès mondial acadien 2014. This residency is made possible in partnership with the Congrès mondial acadien 2014 and the Centre des arts de la Petite église d'Edmundston. I will let you know on an ongoing basis exactly when the studio will be open for visits. I will be happy to talk with you about art, and at the same time, you will be able to follow my creation projet as it evolves.
During this residency, I will also be working on a community participatory project titled "NESTS". For the full duration of the residency, I will be taking photographs of venus figurines in the hands of women, men and children of all ages. These photographs will then be transformed artistically. The combined photographs will create a giant mosaic that will be finished in 2014. The project "NESTS" is meant to be a visual affirmation of a community that values women and life.
I'm extending an invitation to all of you, to discover a small facet of the world of art and also to participate in the collective project "NESTS". I'll be waiting for your visit!
I modeled the first one in 2008 out of black wax, hoping that one day I would be able to cast it in bronze. In 2010, I modeled three of them in clay and baked them in a pit-fire. In 2011, another Turtle-Women appeared in a painting titled Sea Crones. I'm at it again, this time in an installation. She beached on a nearby shore... she's laying eggs. Does that mean that more Turtle-Women are coming?
Beauty in the impossible
With raku, it is nearly impossible to control how the glazes will finally set on the ceramic surface.
There are so many factors that can influence or change the final results: the clay used, the degree of temperature that the bisque was fired, the method used in the application of the glaze, the chemistry of the glaze, the thickness of the sculpture, the thickness of the glaze, the raku firing temperature, the other pieces of sculpture in the raku kiln and their glazes, humidity, outside temperature, wind, the material used in the reduction chamber, the size of the chamber, if the oxygen was completely burnt and how fast, if the chamber was sealed airtight, how the sculpture cooled down from the kiln to the reduction chamber, the temperature of the sculpture when it was put in the water bath.. and more!
I am very happy with this piece. I hope my memory and my written notes can enable me to come close to this result again. But, at the same time, that is the beauty of this process, the results will always be unique.
Water as canvas...
With a twig,
your liquid skin
from your foamy pool,
a web of dreams.
A day in the life of an artist
Site specific art, New Brunswick Aquarium and Marine Centre, Shippagan
It was with great pleasure that I accepted the invitation from the AAAPNB asking me to create a site specific artwork during the Forum on the Professional Status of Artists and the AGM a few weeks ago.
I jumped into this adventure without knowing exactly where the artwork would be shown and without knowing what would be the shapes or sizes of the available materials. Nonetheless, I had an agreement that I would have a person at my disposal who would know the locations of the regional beaches and have a truck to carry the driftwood necessary to create the work. In Shippagan, I would have a day to collect the material and create the artwork on the "spot".. no stress!!??
The day begins. I couldn't have asked for a better companion on this adventure than Gaëtan Mallet. Besides being a real gentlemen, charming, smiling and hard-working; Gaëtan also works with children at risk and is a visual artist. How fortunate I am to have such a person to help me! Its 9 a.m., we're on route. The beach in front of us stretches along the contours of a dune. I'm in heaven! I'm singing "Hallelujah" in my head! There is driftwood all over the place. We rapidly gather a truckload, and as a bonus, a bag full of huge clam shells. We deliver the lot to the Centre and take off again in the direction of another beach where Gaëtan thinks we might find bigger pieces of driftwood. This beach is striking! It has an apocalyptic feel to it. I'm immediately seeing in my mind's eye storm scenes and the winter's icy teeth literally eating at the shoreline. I would have loved to have had more time there. It was so inspiring. I will never forget the wildness and rawness of this place and its energy.
We take a small break for lunch and the creation begins. I have already singled out three big pieces of wood that I will use as the basic skeleton for the sculpture and to give weight to the work. I'm visualizing everything in my head. At the same time, I'm already thinking of ways of solving the challenges of assembly. At this stage, every level of the process coexist in my mind and it comes down to a series of decisions that are applicable at multiple levels simultaneously: public security priority, art in situ which means artwork crated to exist in a certain place, that takes the location into account, I'm deciding on a symbolic way in which the public can participate, I'm choosing the shapes, colors, sizes of the driftwood I will use, I'm deciding on the best perspectives for photography, hiding all anchor points, the mass in the space, giving directions to Gaëtan and more; while at the same time, I'm talking to the public who is stopping to ask questions.
Its 4:30 p.m., the "Radeau du désir" is finished. I have just enough time to relax a bit before the cocktail reception that is scheduled for 6 p.m. My face is red as a lobster! I forgot to put on sunscreen. I practically forgot it was hot and sunny! During the evening, after ringing a small bell, the public could throw a shell into the sea while making a wish.
I LOVE my job!
ps: A big thank you to the AAAPNB, Gaëtan Mallet, Claire Normand and Lizon Thériault!
Gate of the Myst
Nature Art on Miscou Island
The sea's misty breath
The sound of the waves
washing on the beach
resonates inside my body,
like a mantra.
At the moment, I'm working on 3, 5 feet tall, sculptures. They are serving as practice for a bigger installation that's coming up.