Sépia / Écho
58 miniatures
Painting on glass
18 mm ⦰
Saint-Jean-Port-Joli / Oberammergau
2018
 
During the sculpture biennial in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, I was twinned with the German artist Michaela Johanne Gräper.
 
I suggested to her that we show our respective projects in the old cemetery and not at the park des Trois-Bérets, the official
 
site of the event. Michaela placed her sculpture, Dance me to the end of love, near the cave of the Virgin Mary and I installed
 
my miniatures, Sepia, on the back wall of this same cave.
 

Sépia
42 miniatures
Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Québec.
 
The presence of the Virgin Mary and Saint Bernadette sculptures in the cave near the cemetery was the triggering element
 
to my reflexion for this project. The Catholic iconography presents women with two antagonistic figures: Mary, a virgin mother
 
and Magdalena, a prostitute. Other important figure, the mother of mothers, Eve, would have incited Adam into original sin.
 
Religious, emotional blackmail and the notion of sin keep people in the feeling of guilt. Religion wanted to confine female
 
sexuality to its only duty of procreation.
 

Catholic Church doesn’t agree to the ordination of female priests … but would that be really desirable?
 

While walking among the graves of the old cemetery, I remembered that not a long time ago, a woman when she married was
 
losing her maiden name to take that of her husband. She was recovering that part of her identity only on her death. Indeed, on
 
many stones, the maiden name of the deceased wife is inscribed. This sad practice testifies of the power that religion and
 
society can have to keep women in an inferior role.
 

Following my reflexions, I decided to discreetly sketch women of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli and to be inspired by these drawings
 
to make fifty-eight miniatures painted on glass lenses 18 mm in diameter. Forty-two of these were placed in cavities between
 
the stones of the cave’s back wall. Like tiny caves where each one conceals a portrait of an anonymous and unique woman,
 
they create visual murmurs. I gave the remaining sixteen miniatures to Michaela so that she could install them in her village,
 
Oberammergau, in Bavaria. I wish to find with her help a site that will be an echo to Sépia in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli.
 

Écho
16 miniatures
Oberammergau, Germany.
To come…
Sylvie Cloutier, art visuel, art public, portfolio, sculpture, miniature