On May 14, Tri Cycles Entrelacs, a multidisciplinary show combining circus, visual, and literary arts, was presented at the D'Arts et de rêves Cultural Park.
Under the artistic direction of Jean-Jacques Pillet, the work was created at Studios DAR Sutton during a three-week residency where the three artists were called upon to collaborate in order to produce, and present, an original work combining each their artistic disciplines.
The original theme of the work was to be "La planète ferme... le choc !” (The planet is closing down… the shock!). Over the course of the residency however, it was replaced by the theme of the book Le jardin sablier by writer Michèle Plomer, who was expected to join the other two artists―visual arts and circus arts―but unfortunately had to withdraw at the last minute for health reasons.
On the top of the card: Nathan Biggs-Penton, Sébastien Pesot, Véronique Pascal
Nature, with its cycles, its demands, and its generosity, not to mention the vast mythology associated with it, was a source of inspiration for the three artists―Nathan Biggs-Penton, circus artist; Sébastien Pesot, visual artist; and Véronique Pascal, playwright and performer. They proposed a reflection on our relationship with Nature and the effect of the last two years on the way we perceive Nature and our place within it.
A work in three cycles, where visitors were invited to wander around the park and through Studio A, stopping to immerse themselves in the world of each artist, and then continuing on to the next “tableau vivant”.
It was interesting to see the Cultural Park serve in this way, as a living breathing canvas to the Work. A luscious underpainting the artists worked with and were invariably influenced and inspired by. Transformed, coming alive in every way, the beautiful landscape was an integral part of the audience's experience.
It must be noted that the artists skilfully played with what they found on site. For example, acrobat Nathan Biggs-Penton performed part of his act at the top of the large chimney recently erected to house the chimney sweeps. He also made use of the topography of the site by tumbling up the hill !
Nathan Biggs-Penton on the top of the chimney
We were then invited by the wandering gardener, Véronique Pascal, to plant seeds in the grass, in order to leave a trace of our most heartfelt wish. Her colourful costume echoed Don Davidson's bright red Vroom sculpture behind her and later the red bench where she sat to tell us about the Pixies.
Photo: Katherine Godbout
Véronique Pascal in her colourful costume
The park's agora, which served as a gathering point, was decorated with “flower power” flags from Sébastien Pesot's Mal floral series.
During the visit of the school groups on May 12 and 13, a flag was distributed to a representative of each class, who happily planted it on the hill, marking the arrival of his or her group.
Photo: Sébastien Pesot
Students in the agora, flags flying in the wind
In his video On balance, on s'en balance ! motley images of the place and familiar objects followed each other in a loop, suggesting the free association of impressions and ideas that a reversal of perspective allows us to do.
Three different tableaux yet seamless fluidity
The transition between these different “tableaux” was done with a natural fluidity, where the artists called out to each other, either by the sound of a trumpet, a movement of the hand, or a pause in the soundtrack. The audience would then walk away and pick up the narrative at the next station.
This narrative was open to interpretation. Indeed, the cycle was completed after visiting the three “tableaux”, but none of them represented the beginning, the middle, or the end. We left with a feeling of having been told something intimate, but it was difficult to express, words seemed to fail us. Small moments of epiphany would appear but would immediately be blown away like the fluff of a dandelion... a state of mind similar to that of an afternoon lying in the grass.
Thinking back on the project
The presentation at the Cultural Park was followed by a mediation activity with the artists, held in the form of a happy hour, 5-7, at L’École d’art de Sutton. This get-together, hosted by Jean-Jacques Pillet, allowed the artists to express themselves on their creative process, their philosophy, their approach to creation, and also enabled them to share their experience. A friendly moment which made the closing of this project something to remember.
From left to right: Sébastien Pesot, Nathan Biggs-Penton, Véronique Pascal, and Jean-Jacques Pillet
Thank you to our partners
D’Arts et de rêves would like to thank our partners without whom we could not have realized this great adventure: the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec-Montérégie Est; the Brome-Missisquoi MRC; IGA Sutton; the École de la Clé-des-champs in Dunham; the École Saint-François-d'Assise in Frelighsburg; the École d'art de Sutton; and the many wonderful volunteers who contributed their time and expertise.