A walk between Heaven and Earth

Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

Marcel Braitstein’s metal sculpture "Contestation" on display at the Villa Bagatelle during the Entre Ciel et Terre exhibit.

The Villa Bagatelle is hosting Entre Ciel et Terre, an exhibit of pieces by forty Quebec artists. The works of art are divided into two sections, with Heaven representing the ideal striven for by artists, and Earth depicting reality, humanity and materialism. In both sections, the works are divided into six themes. Heaven and its first theme, "Search for the absolute," greets visitors. Among the pieces, Rosette Mociornitza's icon of the Virgin Mary with Jesus represents the religious inspiration for the theme. Insects by Jana Sterbak depicts a multitude of creatures flying toward freedom in the sky. "The universal symbolism of nature, the second theme in the Heaven section, includes Jean-Paul Riopelle's well-known Famille d'oies. A third Heaven theme, "Abstraction and the search for a pictorial ideal," includes wonderful works illustrating Man's fall from grace, the desire to return to former heavenly ideals, and humanity's sensitivity to the Past. This theme appears in Bill Vazan's creation Nordic, a pair of rocks with numerous cavities forming serpentine lines. In the Earth section, the exhibit turns to harsher and more realistic experiences. This section's first theme, "The lucid gaze: from exaltation to critical testimony," includes Nycol Beaulieu's large, captivating painting Tableau de chasse I. It captures the theme in the depiction of a moose trapped during a hunting expedition. "Witnesses of the world," a second Earth theme, is represented in Marcel Braitstein's sculpture in metal, Contestation. It is a set of round metal balls with mouths, as if bullets or bombs were yelling a message that cannot be heard. Paul Béliveau's sketch, Trois méthodes pour disserter sur l'espace, depicts links between Man, space and materialism. Works grouped around the third Earth theme, "New perspective on being," include Louis-Pierre Bougie's introspective canvases. These invite visitors to contemplate their inner and outer beings. Well worth the visit, the exhibit leaves you questioning the concepts of Heaven, Earth and the self. Admission is free and the Villa Bagatelle is open Wednesdays through Sundays, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. until December 21. Works in the exhibit are on loan from the Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, www.mbsl.qc.ca. For more information, visit: www.associationdesjardinsduquebec.com/wp/en/villa-bagatelle.