Art Public Montréal. Marie Perrault’s Favorites

I travel the city on foot, by bike and by public transportation and enjoy discovering works of art along the way. My selection of favorites is a tribute to the many women artists who shape the public spaces I frequent on a daily basis.

Julie Favreau
Moments, 2018
photograph printed on aluminum support
Maison de la culture Claude-Léveillée

I have lived in the Rosemont-Petite-Patrie neighborhood for over 25 years. I started going to the Centre Jean-Marie Gauvreau again when the Maison de la culture Claude Léveillée opened. In the vestibule space, I discovered with great wonder the photographic mosaic of Julie Favreau. The latter proposes a re-enchantment of gestures, the body and objects through their stylized, familiar yet exotic treatment. The plastic vocabulary evokes sculpture, dance, or the art of ikebana, as well as various artistic traditions representing a mutual enrichment of cultures.

Marie-France Brière
Ondes, 2005
polished black granite
Schulich School of Music
McGill University

At the Department of Arts and Architecture, I was privileged to witness the evolution of Marie-France Brière’s public art. Here, the choice of stone as a material, as well as the composition, evokes the geology of the site from which the architects Saucier + Perrote drew their inspiration. Ondes also refers to the sound phenomenon at the foundation of music and affirms with finesse the vocation of the university pavilion. The variations of light on the stone, pierced throughout, modulate the play of reflections and shimmer and offer a fascinating optical experience, in contrast with the urban frenzy.

Annie Hamel
Cent motifs, un paysage, 2010
mural (painted acrylic)
Saint-Roch Park

I regularly pass by this work on my bike trips, as I leave Jarry Park, on my way to Parc-Extension or the town of Mont-Royal. Cents motifs, un paysage represents the very experience of this journey full of contrasts, notably by the diversity of cultures and neighborhoods that it allows us to rub shoulders with. By referring to the beauty of fabrics and prints from elsewhere, and to the careful crafting of traditional embroidery and lace, Annie Hamel pays homage to the plural population of Montreal and the respective contributions of its various traditions.

Rose-Marie Goulet
Nef pour quatorze reines, 1999
Place du 6-décembre-1989

As a graduate of the Université de Montréal, I frequented the site before it became Place du 6 décembre 1989, in memory of the women victims of the tragedy at the École Polytechnique, an institution where my father taught and where I often accompanied him as a child. The event deeply moved me. The empty form of the names and surnames of the women killed that fateful day explicitly expresses their absence, while at the same time the difficulty of deciphering them forces a pause, obliging one to devote a moment to actively remembering them, as much as to remember them by mentioning their names.

Dominique Blain
Le lieu de la présence, 2005
Grande Bibliothèque, BAnQ

Engraved in glass, the words “You are here”, usually used as a landmark on a map, arouse an awareness of time and space. Silhouettes of pedestrians convey the experience of walking as experienced elsewhere in the world. On top of the nearby tables, reproductions of maps from the BanQ collection highlight the historical evolution of the building site. The ensemble confronts us with the realities of individuals, in contrast with a “here and now” experience. The artist develops in this work the subject of another unrealized project, attesting to the fact that public space serves as much as a material to explore as a place of diffusion.