Recipient of the 2019 Athanase-David Prize awarded for her lifetime achievement. Hélène Dorion has published more than 30 books. Translated and published in 15 countries, it has received several distinctions, including the Governor General’s Literary Award , the Prix Mallarmé, the Prix de la revue Études françaises from the University of Montreal, the Léopold-Senghor Prize and the Catullo Prize. A multidisciplinary artist, she exhibits her photographs and designs and presents literary concerts, notably with the orchestras I Musici and Les Violons du Roy. She is, with Marie-Claire Blais, librettist of the opera Yourcenar – Une île de passions. Her most recent collection of poems, Mes forêts, is registered in the French baccalaureate program, a first for a Quebec writer.
The project brings together artists from various parts of Canada, such as Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan. Participants include Hélène Dorion, Joséphine Bacon, Chantal Ringuet, Jamasee Pitseolak, Peter Krausz, Catherine Farish, Olivier Bodart and Monique Martin. Each artist organizes community meetings in their home province or territory to encourage the active participation of local residents. The objective of this ambitious project, under the direction of Agathe Piroir, is to create an artists’ book that delves into the themes of nature, Indigenousness and migration by establishing dialogues between poetry and the visual arts that draw upon the works of Jean Paul Riopelle for inspiration.
The task of carrying out this project falls to the Atelier-Galerie A. Piroir, under the direction of Alain and Agathe Piroir, who are experienced master printers and engravers. They will provide support for the artists and promote the art of printmaking as a form of artistic expression. Agathe will supervise and bring the various stages of the project to fruition, from start to finish.
Workshops will be organized and facilitated by three poets and five visual artists specifically selected on the basis of the themes dealt with in the works of Jean Paul Riopelle. Each poet and artist will supervise a workshop focusing on one of the three main themes of the project. The objective is to promote creative exchanges, promote collaboration and provide participants with a rewarding experience that could be expanded into a unique artistic process.
The artists’ book, the project’s centrepiece, will consist of three poems translated into English and Innu‑Aimun as well as eight prints. The Atelier-Galerie A. Piroir will be responsible for producing and publishing this artwork, which will then be exhibited in four different locations, including at the Atelier-Galerie A. Piroir, the Trois-Rivières International Contemporary Print Biennial, the Musée des métiers d’art du Québec and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. At each of these locations, a presentation of the artists’ book will be organized to promote the artworks created as part of the project.
This ambitious project provides a unique opportunity to bring artists from across Canada together and create an artistic dialogue between poetry and the visual arts, while exploring essential themes, such as nature, Indigenousness and migration. It showcases the vital role that printmaking plays in our society and offers the public an unforgettable experience.
Realized within the framework of the centenary
The creation of the Foundation was inspired by the dream of Jean Paul Riopelle, who wished to pass on his passion for art, his vision and inspire the next generation of artists to explore, innovate and surpass their creative potential.