A five-part sculpture salutes the creative impulse

October 6, 2016

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Since last spring, the Quartier des Spectacles unveiled a new public artwork. Pedestrians on Jeanne-Mance St., just south of the Place des Festivals, will see Stephen Schofield’s Où boivent les loups.

Consisting of five distinct scenes, the sculptor’s work explores artists’ creativity and inspirations. Made of bronze, aluminum, concrete and glass, the sculptures comprising Où boivent les loups pay tribute to the art world and its creators and disciplines.

We spoke with Stephen Schofield about his work.

What was the initial idea behind Où boivent les loups?

I came up with moments, like different acts in a play or instants from a piece of music. It’s a work in five parts. Although I didn’t design each sculpture with a particular art in mind, viewers can make connections between some of them and certain artistic disciplines. My composition choices were related to experiences I’ve had as a spectator. It’s a very rhythmic work, but not everything about it is calculated. I wanted to stress the nuances. It’s like in music: a rigorously geometrical score doesn’t make for an interesting piece. It comes alive, captures our attention, when there are variations in the rhythm.

Where does the work’s title come from?

It’s the title of a collection of poems published in 1932 by Romanian artist Tristan Tzara. Many of his poems talk about the creative drive, seeking through creativity, inspiration.

What are the dominant themes in your wider body of work?

Sometimes my work is about solitude, precision in actions, artists’ inspirations. Geometry also appears often. I wanted to highlight the energy – sometimes wild, fierce – of artists. You see it in L’Effigie et les enfants, in which a heroic figure who has fallen is being carried by children overflowing with energy. The idea of play is also very prominent. Sometimes, my inspiration is a simple movement that pleased me. That’s the case for the final section, L’équilibriste, in which an artist stands on one hand. The position comes from a dance piece by choreographer Andrew Harwood.

Tell us a little about your work process. For example, how did you imagine the five children in L’Effigie et les enfants?

For the five children, I started with artists I know, and I tried to imagine what they were like when they were kids. I like working with my memories and reminiscences.

What does it feel like to see your work displayed in public?

It makes me very happy, and it’s a big relief! Only when the last piece was put in place was it possible to clearly see the logic of the whole. For example, I was pleased to see that the vanishing points work on-site. Depending on a person’s position or angle of view, they will see something different.

Exhibition: Où boivent les loups

Until 23 October, the public is invited to discover the creative process of Stephen Schofield’s work, Où boivent les loups, at Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme of Place des Arts. Everyday, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Free.

Conception of the exhibition : Isabelle Riendeau
Presented by : Bureau d'art public, Ville de Montréal

Où boivent les loups

Jeanne-Mance Street,
between Sainte-Catherine and René-Lévesque