The mag­i­cal world of minia­tures

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Coat­i­cook

It all be­gan when I re­ceived a most sur­pris­ing in­vi­ta­tion. Open­ing the small, padded en­ve­lope, I found a gold tis­sue-wrapped pack­age, and in­side that was a mag­ni­fy­ing glass and the small­est in­vi­ta­tion I’d ever seen. The tiny writ­ing on the minia­ture

mes­sage was im­pos­si­ble to read with­out the mag­ni­fier. The cap­ti­vat­ing in­vi­ta­tion, the brain­child of Coat­i­cook artist Con­nie Mar­coux, was for an ex­hibit of minia­tures go­ing on at Coat­i­cook’s small­est art gallery, Chez Koni – Ga­lerie/Ate­lier d’Art.

A to­tal of twelve artists are tak­ing part in the L’Univers Minia­tures show, each pro­vid­ing unique and, of course, tiny cre­ations that are a de­light to dis­cover, from minia­ture can­vases painted with tooth­picks and mounted on tiny easels, Vic­to­rian houses com­plete with flick­er­ing lanterns, to minia­ture books, and much more in be­tween.

Pn­ina-Soleil Mar­coux, Con­nie’s daugh­ter, pointed out her con­tri­bu­tion to the ex­hibit: in­tri­cate hand­made jew­elry. “I started mak­ing jew­elry se­ri­ously about five years ago. Lately, I had been mak­ing very large neck­laces, but when the minia­ture ex­hibit came up, it made me think it would be fun to down­size them,” she ex­plained as we toured the gallery. “Peo­ple re­ally liked the smaller ver­sions so I’ll con­tinue mak­ing them even af­ter the show.” Pn­ina was in­spired to cre­ate her ‘Elec­tron’ col­lec­tion of jew­elry from do­ing Zen­tan­gles, im­ages cre­ated by draw­ing struc­tured pat­terns.

Pn­ina-Soleil didn’t only con­trib­ute her artis­tic cre­ations to the ex­hibit; she also used her mar­ket­ing skills, learnt at Bishop’s Univer­sity, to cre­ate a great poster for the show. “I hope to put to­gether a web­site soon for my jew­elry. Ev­ery­thing is on­line th­ese days; there’s a change in the for­mula of how art is sold. I want to use what I learnt in school to work with so­cial me­dia like Face­book.”

A child’s play­room at Christ­mas­time!

I was glad to have the mag­ni­fy­ing glass as I con­tin­ued to ex­plore the diminu­tive cre­ations. There were themed shadow boxes, in­ge­niously cre­ated by skilled hands and, un­doubt­edly, tiny tweez­ers. How on earth does some­one even make a re­cy­cling bin, a cen­time­ter long and filled with minis­cule bits of re­cy­cling, for a six inch wide porch? A child’s play­room shadow box was an­other im­pres­sive work with its train set and tiny toys, all Lil­liputian in size.

When ex­am­in­ing the minia­ture book­shelves, I was sur­prised to find sev­eral well-known ti­tles. “This artist makes spe­cial or­ders for peo­ple, putting their favourite books on the shelves,” ex­plained Con­nie. “Ev­ery­one has the same drive to put in as much de­tail into their mi­nis as they can,” added her daugh­ter about the artists in the ex­hibit, all mem­bers of the re­cently formed Coati-mi­nis group.

Fol­low­ing the mini tour, as we nib­bled on tiny cook­ies and a minia­ture choco­late cake, washed down with coffee in tiny cups, Con­nie com­mented: “I love minia­tures and this is a tiny gallery. So af­ter the ex­hibit, we’ll con­tinue to have some minia­tures at the gallery.”

Whether you en­joy mak­ing or col­lect­ing minia­tures your­self, or just want to ex­pe­ri­ence the mag­i­cal world of minia­tures, the L’Univers Minia­tures ex­hibit at Gallery Chez Koni, on Child Street in Coat­i­cook, is well worth a visit.

photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

Pho­tos Vic­to­ria Vanier

Pn­ina-Soleil Mar­coux holds a minia­ture ver­sion of the neck­lace she is wear­ing.

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