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Recipients of the Excellence in Woodworking Grant from the Caisse de la Culture - MUMAQ

The MUMAQ is pleased to present the works of the winners of the Excellence in Woodworking Grant from 2020 to 2022.

Sophie Dorion – 2022 Grant Winner

When we create an armchair, our main concern is to ensure comfort and rest for the body. From a technical standpoint, we necessarily focus on respecting ergonomic norms, but from the standpoint of sensation, we’re also focused on finding the softness or suppleness that will welcome the diverse forms of our bodies.

For the project synthesis as part of my studies at the École d’ébénisterie d’art de Montréal, I really wanted to experiment with this idea of suppleness, all while spotlighting the material that I’d spent so long analyzing in all its forms: wood. Therefore, my project is called Une dissonance en la matière (A Dissonance in Matter), precisely because it creates a dissonance in our understanding of the properties of this material. Although they’re made of wood, the seat and the back of the armchair are supple. The suppleness of this material is also revealed in the fabrication of the chair, in the process of steam-bending one of the main pieces.

Photo credit: Sophie DORION A Dissonance in Matter, 2022 Sugar maple, fabric, and bicycle tubing

Decorative element

With its inviting curve, the arch reintroduces the idea of softness in the very forms of the furniture, which prompts a desire to fall into it and be engulfed. Indeed, Une dissonance en la matière is in itself a call to experimentation in the academy, resisting the fear of error and the unconventional.

If school is a place where one comes, as a student, to seek the transmission of knowledge and know-how – a tradition, so to speak – from certain “references in the field” that are the teachers, it is also a fertile ground for experimentation, questioning, discovery, but also for uncertainty, clumsiness, and mistakes, which all go hand-in-hand with learning.

Cyrielle Pelvillain –  2021 Grant Winner

Plume offers a flat, airy, soft, and supple surface. It welcomes ideas, trials, and scribbles. At times, it unfolds, in all its potential, in its two slanted positions. Freely inspired by an immaculate white sheet of paper, Plume, in shades of sage and field wheat, inspires comfort. A piece of furniture for writing, drawing, and dreaming.

For me, my practice is a language, the prism through which my senses are expressed. Whether it’s wood, painting, or any other medium, the quality and richness of the investment I make in it will, I hope, evoke an emotion in some people. It will no longer be mine, but the reflection of an intimate proposal on my part. A silent dialogue expressed by the object. The object which comes from elsewhere and which touches me, in which I can inscribe my modesty and my dreams. There, I engrave my memories and the memories of a time that has long since passed. To create for me means to leave a trace, to honour a dialogue that denies time and space. A precious and discreet encounter born from a meeting between the one who creates and the one who receives.

My work, often intuitive and always obvious, flows through me like water. Sometimes I don’t even remember the work. I only hope that someone will be able to read in my creations all the beauty of the small things I see in the world: beautiful and ugly, harmonious and chaotic, yet always inscribed and transcended by an unrelenting continuum. An object as a witness, an echo of an emotion which once passed through me. One that I cherished in my heart, in my head and in my hands, for many long hours. I am not looking for recognition. I am looking for the transformation of the material by my intention and my heart. I am looking to create a work in alliance with nature. I want to live my values. Authenticity, investment, intuition, an alignment of lines and movements. There is no necessity, just a proposal and maybe a connection.

Photo credit: Cyrielle PELVILLAIN ROMEUR Plume, 2021 Maple, red oak, plated steel, and brass

Decorative element

Laurence Blache – 2020 Grant Winner

I wear many hats. I have backgrounds in cultural mediation, in pedagogy, in visual and media arts, as well as in arts and crafts. At the crossroads of these different paths, I’m able to create objects and artworks that are both rooted in folklore and deployed from a sustainable perspective.

I want to feel and to make others feel, make them dream and awaken. In perpetual motion, my practice is crafted from all of the different techniques I’ve picked up over the years. I love to learn, to unite the disciplines and create dialogue between them. I also have a desire to connect with the world at large and share a common experience through the act of creation. So, let’s build, together.

Photo credit: Laurence BLACHE Mycélium, 2020 Solid cherry wood, glued and laminated cherry wood, and linen

Decorative element

Mycélium is, above all, a formal exploration of organic sensuality. This project was born from my passion and fascination for mushrooms. The mycelium is the vegetative part of the mushroom that consists of underground branches. It’s made up of a mysterious and intriguing network of communication and relationship that acts in symbiosis with the root systems of plants. The mushroom is simply the fruit of this root system and is the only visible portion.

The mycelium can extend across an enormous area and plays a crucial role in any ecosystem. I noticed a parallel between the constitution of the mycelium and my own work, wherein these chairs become the fruit and only visible part of my artistic process. For me, this project became a way to define the interaction between my work as an artist/artisan and the world at large. From this network of ideas, Mycélium was born: a chair whose aerial finesse, yet rootedness, recalls the curved forms of nature.

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