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Michèle Lemieux is an illustrator, filmmaker and professor at the UQAM School of Design, whose work displays both, talent and technique. With the exhibition The Whole and Its Parts. Michèle Lemieux, from Drawing to Animation, presented at the UQAM Centre de Design, the public will be able to discover the artist's work through sketchbooks for animated films that she made at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) between 2003 and 2012.
Following its successful showing at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris earlier this year, the exhibition represents a unique opportunity for the Montreal public to explore preliminary sketches and visual experiments of Lemieux’s films in progress executed on the pinscreen. Due to an exceptional loan from the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (France), the visitor will be able to observe a real pinscreen, this singular instrument created by Alexander Alexeïeff and Claire Parker in 1931.
The Whole and Its Parts. Michèle Lemieux, from Drawing to Animation
Michèle Lemieux worked for most of her career as a children's book illustrator before entering the world of animated film. She has taught drawing and illustration at the UQAM School of Design for more than 20 years. Her extraordinary talent for drawing, is exemplified in her daily practice of sketching, of recording ideas, observations and dreams in her notebooks. These seminal drawings and their transposition into her artistic work are at the heart of the exhibition. The film Here and the Great Elsewhere (2012), not only shows her great technical mastery, but also reveals how the pinscreen as a tool, and her dialogue with it, have given her a new way to create and to view her artistic practice.
The pinscreen, acquired by the NFB in 1973, where it is installed in a dark studio space. With its 240,000 movable black steel pins, it is more of a bas-relief than a drawing board. Lit from the side by a powerful light source, each image is created by the shadow projected by the numerous pins onto the white surface. A fixed camera photographs each image and transmits it to the computer screen. As Michèle Lemieux explains: "On the pinscreen, chiaroscuro is not merely the representation of light and shade, it is, strictly speaking, the raw material with which the image is created."
This project is the result of the collaboration of several people, but it owes its existence primarily to the continuous exchange between two artists, Michèle Lemieux and Angela Grauerholz, and their mutual interest in one another's work and creative processes. As well as being a reflection on the work of Michèle Lemieux and an introduction to her creative process, the exhibition is an attempt to broaden the debate beyond discussion on the use of drawing in art, and film animation in particular, by addressing the implications of the use of a tool as old as the pinscreen in contemporary art and design.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication, and artist’s book of sorts, as well as a soundscape created by New York composer Melissa Grey.
Open to all.
Special presentation of the film Here and the Great Elsewhere with commentary by Michèle Lemieux: Wednesday, October 26, at 6 pm.
Produced by the UQAM Centre de Design, this exhibition is presented in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada and the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (France). It was made possible through the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Address and opening hours
UQAM Centre de Design
1440 Sanguinet Street (corner of Sainte-Catherine East)
Montreal (Berri-UQAM metro)
Open Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 6 pm.
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