Residencies, Exhibits, Special Projects
"And though the shapes change, though each moment dies into the next, though no thing is being made to last, something is happening. Each moment bears life foward. It is as if the form that grows within our acts sheds each successive moment like a skin; it is as if the inner form which grows as a being within us is brought to maturity through the successive deaths of its material stages."
- M.C. Richards
Centering, in Pottery, Poetry and the Person
Michel Prévost, President for the Société d'histoire de l'Outaouais
In October 2019, Michel Prévost, president for the Société d’Histoire de l’Outaouais, won the cultural award from the City of Gatineau, for his many decades of contributing to the protection of regional heritage. At that time I received the honor of the commission for his award.
When we met to discuss about his interests, which would inspire my piece, I connected with the religious heritage aspect of his work. During the summer 2020, I visited six churches in Cantley, Chelsea, Gatineau and Buckingham. I then made a drawing of a mosaic that would include the three main Christian groups that shaped the history of the Outaouais region: the Catholic, the Anglican and the United Church. The mosaic (seen below) is inspired mainly by the magnificent stained glass in the small church of St-Andrew’s in Buckingham, but I also included symbols I found interesting in other churches.
The mosaic is made of 692 pieces of ceramics that were cut in wet clay, then numbered, fired, and individually glazed and then assembled.
This long creative journey was a real bliss for me. Having the chance to visit these sacred places reminded me how important the Beauty and the Divine are to human growth. In the Churches I witnessed unique works from artists and craftsmen who were dedicated to serve the spiritual life of their communities. The silence, the light, the smell of wood and incense, the unbelievable quality of the artwork, made me stop in time, and made me think whether these sacred spaces were soon going to be lost to us forever.
Today, in a (western) world which considers science the only way of apprehending reality, where do beauty, spirituality and transcendence fit in? When does architecture serve the purpose of raising people’s souls? Where can we go to connect with the Divine part of life and reflect on the challenging questions of humanity, like suffering, love, death, and the great mysteries of existence? When the last churches are sold, and transformed into condos, will consumerism have conquered our souls? For those who will continue to hear the call of the Light, there will be no one and no place to show them the way.
As an artist, I feel responsible for conveying the importance that connecting with the more profound and meaningful aspects of life has for every human being. The paths are numerous to do so, whether it is in the forest, in a church, or within oneself. But the more we cut trees, the more we demolish churches, the more we erase millennial traditions, and the more we think that we have nothing to learn from the past, the less occasion will our souls have to be exposed to the spiritual aspects of existence, and the more enchained we will become.
You can appreciate then, how important the mission that I received with this commission was, and for quite an important man at that, who fights everyday to preserve our ancestors’ memories. For all he has done, Michel Prévost has my greatest respect, and I can’t think of a better person to receive this work of art.
Lieux et Lumière
Artist in Residence at PAF with the artist Sally Lee Sheeks (2020)
This project was a collaboration with the artist Sally Lee Sheeks (some of the pieces below are from her). The work was inspired by the light, architecture and symbols of the Anglican Church in Wakefield, Qc. These pieces are made of porcelain, or cut paper and were supposed to be part of an installation in the Church in 2020. The event was postponed.
Saint John Arts Centre (May 2019)
Artist in Residence
One month residency in Saint John, New-Brunswick to explore translucent porcelain.
The Wheel of the Year (2019)
Exhibition at Centre d'action culturelle de la MRC Papineau
This solo exhibit was made of 35 pieces of porcelain, and 8 photos printed on canvas. It was displayed in a large circle, evoking the Neo-Druidic Wheel of the Year and the symbolism associated with the 8 celebrations of the year: Winter Solstice, Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lughnassad, Fall Equinox and Samhain.