« Carried away in St. Lawrence time »
time and again the sediments seed
(The theme of currents navigating the St. Lawrence gives focus to this exhibition)
Air currents propel all life and movement.
The currents, in their passage, change all things. Yet, they sometimes slip through almost imperceptibly. In time, currents make their way; they are inseparable and elusive. One notes their passing in the traces they leave here and there - the seascape’s beauty is renewed. Grains and spores change fields. Nature does not cheat. Imposing as it is, this river is made of air currents which engender it and carry it to the sea where it continues to transform itself through ever deeper currents. The river and its progress reassures us, as it is always there for us, offering us life through beauty.
Unending currents of river and tide. Rip currents. Light currents, energy currents. Currents of hot air, cold air; from breeze to hurricane. Currents of mist. Currents of sand, of inhabited rock and fragrances of plants. Cloud currents in multiple shades of white, where birds soar on every wind to the utmost heights. Deep-water currents down which sea creatures slide. Between sea and sky, we navigate the currents of our lives. This river gives me the impression of seeing eternity flow, of touching it perhaps.
Currents of ideas; currents of feeling and thought; currents of adversity, of trickery and cheating, of abandonment, betrayal; currents of the heart; currents of friendship, of love – always in movement, deliriously alive.
Keeping the currents company, we find:
wracks - toothed, spiralled, evanescent, bladder wracks with their conspicuous vesicles
kelp - knotted, laminaria, furbellows saccorhiza,
agars, badderlocks alaria and chorda filum sea lace
gastropods and bivalves and, living on them, barnacles
crustacians and cirripedia
crabs, shrimp and scuds
water fleas, sand fleas
fish of all kinds, even sea stars
and how many others
So many currents, so many upheavals all along this river and its ever-imposing, endlessly surprising Gulf. There I see far and wide, reaching a broader vision, keeping hope within this pure horizon alive with possibilities. Is this world’s longest estuary not inhabited by a thousand wonders and a thousand secrets that I will never imagine? How many stories have once slipped into these currents, now gone? It is essential that freshwater and saltwater meet.
Cold air currents transform this water into currents of ice, turning the waterscape white, letting it merge with the landscape. On this great bank blanketed in hues of white, stony mountains, green-black forests and the colored traces of the living assert their presence along icebound waters.
Musical currents intermingle, crisscross, come apart, repel each other or self-harmonize for our greater joy and astonishment, always rekindled.
The photographs taken along the St. Lawrence and its Gulf bring me back to the currents ever-present in nature. One looks at living nature with an intimate gaze - one’s vision, and manifold viewpoints come into focus: scientific, naturalist, biological, artistic - all ways of looking necessary to arrive at an essential encounter between Nature and us. To better know ourselves, so that we learn to live with Nature as harmoniously as we must. Beauty is a vital need for me. Beauty engenders love, compassion and wonder. The quest for beauty fascinates me, gives me hope, comforts and inspires me. All one needs is a shift in perspective; the eye’s iris frames the landscape, composes its images, finds its stories.
Songs of the marsh
Bubbles emerge from muddy subsoil
burst at the contact of floating leaves
of vanished bird feathers
resonate in the beaks of woodpeckers and curl up on long boughs
to impregnate clouds with fumes of the marsh.
Ears open onto profound silence
sing me the lost secrets
these airs of life barely whispered
at the end of a stillborn breath
Sounds of bodies metamorphosed exhilarating
sounds singing of smells that rise from the forests
where cariboudermic mammals snore
one eye half-open, the horizon ringed by pupils
Disfigured shipwrecks sand-bound lie in wait
Visitors carry upon their dancing fins
The resonating notes of the sunken past
« The never ending collapsing of the low »
The nearly desiccated sounds of the marsh
Transmuted into shifting mists
lifted on ethereal currents
captured by mislaid bows
between the wings of snow geese and disheveled moonbeams
streaked by dazed clouds
Harmonics glide on a tight string
brush up against the canopy soar zenithward
and stratosphere in unison
become an A
the A of the marsh
(A: the 6th note of the diatonic scale, used to set the tone for the orchestra)
The bouquet of smells wafting from the salt marsh has intense, insistent odors which exude organic transformations overflowing with the future. Surprisingly, once you accept the presence of these fragrances, you become used to them. A whiff of sea salt and iodine gradually infiltrates the space and finally imposes itself.
Absorb the tremors stirred by outer winds, a groundswell of tears, ink-black, tearing through the ungrounded swirling waters. Read the clouds sculpted by unseen winds. Let unforeseen shallows slow us up. Row in the current as often as you can. Wax lyrical, be marked indelibly by setting suns in which our stories are reflected, traced by the drifting clouds. Stay in the current; sail to safe harbor. On to death.
(Soundtrack composed specially for this exhibition)