Joséphine Bacon is a Canadian Innu poet and writer, born in 1947 in Pessamit, Quebec. She is known for her literary works that explore the Innu culture and the relationship between indigenous peoples and the land. Her poetry is deeply rooted in the oral traditions of the Innu people and their connection to the natural world. Bacon has published several collections of poetry, including “Bâtons à message/Message Sticks” (2009), which won the Prix des libraires du Québec in 2010, and “Uiesh/Quelque part” (2018), which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry. She has also worked as a translator, interpreter and cultural mediator.
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.