Home Arts & Culture Snow-casing sculpture in Paris

Snow-casing sculpture in Paris

MC Snow and their sculpture, Lunaris, at the Revelations International Biennial of Crafts and Creation in Paris. Courtesy Michael Patten
MC Snow and their sculpture, Lunaris, at the Revelations International Biennial of Crafts and Creation in Paris. Courtesy Michael Patten

MC Snow will miss the grilled octopus, but they’re happy to be home.

Just this week, Snow returned from Paris, where their work was featured in the Revelations International Biennial of Crafts and Creation, which, this year, honoured the province of Quebec. 

Snow, who is Kahnawa’kehró:non, was part of a contingent of six Indigenous artists that travelled to the biennial; their work was situated in the centre of the show, which for curator Michael Patten meant that freestanding sculpture works had to be selected. Snow felt a sense of camaraderie amongst the five other Indigenous artists: Nadia Myre (Kitigan Zibi), Renee Condo (Gesgapegiag), Craig Commanda (Kitigan Zibi), Caroline Monnet (Anishinaabe), and Ludovic Boney (Wendake). 

Much of Snow’s work references Kanien’kehá:ka legends and culture, and their piece for the biennial, Lunaris, is no exception, as it makes reference to Grandmother Moon and the creation story.  

There is thought behind every aspect of Lunaris, right down to the materials used. Snow makes reference to Kanien’kehá:ka pottery – “the soil, the clay, from Mother Earth.” Using fibreglass, epoxy resin, and encaustic paint made from beeswax, natural pigments and resin handmade in Montreal, Snow developed an “exploded encaustic globe” that signifies an inward turn towards the introspective. 

“I guess it’s an expression of going through changes, going through an evolution of sorts. The piece is about personal growth,” said Snow. 

Lunaris, or Mooncrust, was inspired by the time Snow spent developing spherical public artworks for the city of Montreal. They felt trapped in this format, but this most recent work represents a break – liberation from the snares that encircle us. The sculpture is about “creating some kind of new life from (Mother Earth’s) demise,” said Snow. 

The base of the sculpture, welded by Kahnawa’kehró:non Clive “Cookie” McComber, is part of the work, said Snow, meant to articulate the fragile balance that our world hangs in. 

Snow began Lunaris six months ago, and the sculpture demanded tedious attention, with the globe constructed by layering encaustic paint – each coat requiring a period of drawing in between.  

Patten, who is from Zagime Anishinabek First Nation, is also the director of the Contemporary Native Art Biennial based in Tiohtià:ke, and was chosen to curate the Indigenous works featured in the Paris biennial. 

“I kind of wanted to challenge assumptions about what Indigenous art is and what it can be, so I was choosing some more contemporary pieces, and I really wanted to highlight diversity of practice,” said Patten. 

“I thought it was a great opportunity to show them that it’s a living, present culture, not just something in the past.”

Organized by Ateliers d’Art de France, Revelations brings together 400 exhibitors on a biannual basis in the heart of Paris, adjacent to the Eiffel tower. 

“I think it’s going to lead to a lot of other things,” said Patten of the biennial. 

This article was originally published in print on Friday, June 16, in issue 32.24 of The Eastern Door.

Nicky Taylor
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