The interest in nature converges with concerns about questions of identity, ecology, politics and aesthetics. The environment constitutes a fertile field of inquiry for artists, who observe it, act upon it, sample it and seek to understand the changes taking place within it. The differences in the treatment of nature that we can observe in such artistic genres as landscape, still life, Land Art illustrate how human beings’ relationship with nature has changed over time, moving gradually from contemplation to interaction. While science, for its part, sometimes leads us to believe in the possibility of complete mastery over nature, the projects presented here attest not so much to a desire for domination as to a limitless curiosity with respect to the natural world.
The interest in nature converges with concerns about questions of identity, ecology, politics and aesthetics. The environment constitutes a fertile field of inquiry for artists, who observe it, act upon it, sample it and seek to understand the changes taking place within it. The differences in the treatment of nature that we can observe in such artistic genres as landscape, still life, Land Art illustrate how human beings’ relationship with nature has changed over time, moving gradually from contemplation to interaction. While science, for its part, sometimes leads us to believe in the possibility of complete mastery over nature, the projects presented here attest not so much to a desire for domination as to a limitless curiosity with respect to the natural world.

© Galerie de l'UQAM 2007. All rights reserved

Project presented inside and outside the walls of the city of Québec including sculptures, drawings, videos, interventions and soundwork.

Artist: Pierre Bourgault, Photo: Yvan Binet
2003
© Pierre Bourgault


Pierre Bourgault’s NNNEEESSSSSOOONN au 47e parallèle is a multidisciplinary project based on an experiment conducted on the St. Lawrence River. The work’s title refers to the declination or angular distance of the four cardinal points and describes river trips the artists took aboard his Zodiac. In Bourgault’s work, the horizon line is defined by consulting maps, plotting maritime navigation routes, noting latitude and longitude positions and making use of organic matter taken from places visited. The artist’s river crossings, which have occurred at a variety of locations (Sept-Îles, Le Bic, La Malbaie, Île-aux-Coudres and Gaspé), have been approached in terms of the particular aesthetics of cartography. Bourgault criss-crosses space, and the work he subsequently shows reconstructs his experiences. Drawings that retrace his travel routes are brought back on large-scale maps. Blocks of sea salt form imposing structures which are gradually eroded by a thin stream of water running over their surface. And sound recordings also play a role in conveying the artist’s practice of ad Read More
Pierre Bourgault’s NNNEEESSSSSOOONN au 47e parallèle is a multidisciplinary project based on an experiment conducted on the St. Lawrence River. The work’s title refers to the declination or angular distance of the four cardinal points and describes river trips the artists took aboard his Zodiac. In Bourgault’s work, the horizon line is defined by consulting maps, plotting maritime navigation routes, noting latitude and longitude positions and making use of organic matter taken from places visited. The artist’s river crossings, which have occurred at a variety of locations (Sept-Îles, Le Bic, La Malbaie, Île-aux-Coudres and Gaspé), have been approached in terms of the particular aesthetics of cartography. Bourgault criss-crosses space, and the work he subsequently shows reconstructs his experiences. Drawings that retrace his travel routes are brought back on large-scale maps. Blocks of sea salt form imposing structures which are gradually eroded by a thin stream of water running over their surface. And sound recordings also play a role in conveying the artist’s practice of adhering closely to the geography around him.

To listen to a sound excerpt from NNNEEESSSSSOOONN au 47e parallèle, please follow this link,

© Galerie de l'UQAM 2007. All rights reserved

NNNEEESSSSSOOONN au 47e parallèle

Artist: Pierre Bourgault, Photo: Yvan Binet
2003
© Pierre Bourgault


NNNEEESSSSSOOONN au 47e parallèle

Artist: Pierre Bourgault, Photo: Yvan Binet
2003
© Pierre Bourgault


NNNEEESSSSSOOONN au 47e parallèle

Artist: Pierre Bourgault, Photo: Yvan Binet
2003
© Pierre Bourgault


NNNEEESSSSSOOONN au 47e parallèle

Artist: Pierre Bourgault, Photo: Yvan Binet
2003
© Pierre Bourgault


Pierre Bourgault was born in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, where he lives and works. An artist, teacher, researcher, storyteller and navigator, he studied at the Florence Academy of Art in 1964 and 1965, and completed a master's degree in visual art at the Université Laval in 1996. He has carried out projects integrating architecture and the environment, as well as participated in a variety of sculpture events. In addition, he has numerous one-person exhibitions to his credit.

selected exhibitions
2006 Ene, Ese, Oso, Ono, Fonderie Darling, Montréal (Québec) 2005 Un jardin en mer, Reford Garden, Grand-Métis (Québec) [Lesley Johnstone, curator] 2003 Nnneeesssssooonn au 47e parallèle, L’Œil de poisson, Québec (Québec) [Louise Déry, curator] 1998 Musique à bouche, Circa, Montréal (Québec)
Pierre Bourgault was born in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, where he lives and works. An artist, teacher, researcher, storyteller and navigator, he studied at the Florence Academy of Art in 1964 and 1965, and completed a master's degree in visual art at the Université Laval in 1996. He has carried out projects integrating architecture and the environment, as well as participated in a variety of sculpture events. In addition, he has numerous one-person exhibitions to his credit.

selected exhibitions
  • 2006 Ene, Ese, Oso, Ono, Fonderie Darling, Montréal (Québec)
  • 2005 Un jardin en mer, Reford Garden, Grand-Métis (Québec) [Lesley Johnstone, curator]
  • 2003 Nnneeesssssooonn au 47e parallèle, L’Œil de poisson, Québec (Québec) [Louise Déry, curator]
  • 1998 Musique à bouche, Circa, Montréal (Québec)

© Galerie de l'UQAM 2007. All rights reserved

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • demonstrate an understanding of how science and art can be linked;
  • try to explain the state of mind of the artist when he made this art piece.

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