FORMS, VOLUME AND SPACE /
Moment of Grace ‒ Creative Impulses and Happy Enthusiasm
“Sculpture is glowing memory.” – Miguel Angel Asturias
The air is crisp and invigorating. Immaculate snow covers the ground. Admiring the scenery and keeping an eye out for deer darting through the valleys, I make my way towards an artist studio set on the heights of a country road that leads to infinity. On this perfect Saturday afternoon, I am meeting with Marie-claude Demers, the outstandingly talented and generous artist who dwells here. Her sculpture work in bronze is more than formidable, it is magical, sublime, and bearer of happiness. Detail-oriented and monumental, it is an absolute delight!
Marie-claude Demers was aware of her artistic endowment at a very young age. Every single day, she would draw. Her notebook margins were filled with sketched characters, imaginary or gleaned from Walt Disney television episodes that nourished her dreams. She eagerly aimed to please one and all through her drawings. Nevertheless, as a young adult at university she chooses to study psychology, a career she will never pursue despite having obtained her diploma. Marie-claude Demers rather follows her true instincts and henceforth wholeheartedly embraces artistic creation, while simultaneously illustrating a children's book. After practicing the arts of drawing and painting for almost ten years, she switches her efforts to sculpture as she moves to Inverness, the ideal location for the creation of bronze sculpture in Québec.
Fantasy and realism
“Bronze allows me to joyfully express myself with naïve humour. I love being able to tell a funny story that makes me laugh and share my pleasure with spectators.” The art of bronze however requires skills and efforts, dexterity and technical knowledge, as well as a good sense of organization to adroitly intercalate various sleight of hand gestures. It goes without saying that the Inverness foundry facilitates all technical aspects and heavy handling during casting of the piece. In fact, the efforts of at least ten persons will be required to bring the enterprise to fruition.
Often inspired by fairy tales or legends, but even more often by characters inciting feelings of happiness, the sculptor allows her fingers to freely manipulate the oily clay per her whims and fancies. She then works at adding shapes, following a narrative the finality of which is still unknown. The trimming, modelling and other pointed tools ensure the meticulous skill and care with which she crafts
a wealth of details into her fanciful and genial scenes. The sculpture is then taken to the foundry where the team covers it with silicone to create a mold into which wax is poured. A wax sculpture is exacted, which Marie-claude Demers retouches, further refining certain aspects. Follows the alternate application of various coats of liquid bronze, which will melt the wax and leave the necessary space for the actual structure of the bronze sculpture.
The artist faces a variety of challenges in areas of creation, management, planning and organization, as well as the high costs of materials. Serious planning is required as there is very little room for error. Otherwise costs will exponentially increase. “I am passionate and determined. I believe in the work I'm doing, hence nothing can stop me.” About ten sculptures are thus created each year. And if some pieces are offered in compact format numbered series, the monumental sculptures, such as the 3 metres long Don Quixote presently covered with snow in her garden, will mostly remain unique art pieces.
An evolving market
Marie-claude Demers markets her art as would a seasoned entrepreneur. Widely represented in gallery, the artist has set-up her posh and warm studio in such a manner as to be able to convivially welcome prestigious collectors, business leaders, corporations, gallery owners and journalists without haste. “Purchasing a bronze sculpture worth thousands or tens of thousands of dollars requires time and reflection. Here, I can receive my guests at ease. No-one needs hurry. Good wine and savoury appetizers, unique northern lighting and comfortable seating, actual art pieces as well as sculpting tools, all elements are in place to provide the ideal atmosphere to experience a privileged connection with the passion for art and creation,” concludes Marie-claude Demers.
Let us mention the prestigious presence of Marie-claude Demers as guest artist at the Symposium des arts UV Mutuelle (Union-vie) of Drummondville, March 10 to 12, 2017, in the Promenades de Drummondville, QC.
Her artworks can be found at: Atelier Marie-claude Demers, 418-453-3351 Musée du bronze, 1760 ch. Dublin, Inverness, QC, 418-453-2101 Galerie Jeannine Blais, 100, Main Street, P.B. 90, North Hatley, QC, J0B 2C0, 819-842-2784 Galerie d’art Iris, 30, Saint-jean-baptiste, Baie-saint-paul, QC, G3Z 1L9, 418-435-0224 Galerie d’art La Marée Montante, 1317, chemin Royal, Saint-laurent, Île d'orléans, QC, G0A 3Z0, 418-828-1859 Galeries d’art Beauchamp, email@example.com 1-877-694-2244