Sunday, July 19, 2009


A few days ago, I was struck by the recurrence of a pattern, the motif of a star or rather, of a constellation of stars.

Chandra X-ray Image of Orion Nebula

It all started last Thursday evening, July 16th, with Isabelle Mignault's opening reception for her latest art exhibit, Sense (Isabelle Mignault's two-part art exhibit can be seen at Keep Six Contemporary Gallery, Toronto, from July 16th to July 29th 2009).

Comme de raison, dry point on archival paper, 39' x 27', 2009

As I was listening to her talk about her art and the techniques she had used in the series of engravings and watercolours on display, I noticed a pattern. She was wearing star-shaped earrings that conveyed a unique sensation that one can also sense in somebody's presence or decipher in their eyes, read on their lips or in their hearts. Let us say that I 'sensed' it, through her earrings, Isabelle's love and being glowed and sparkled like a celestial body. I stood awestruck for a few seconds.

Isabelle's earrings- July 16th 2009

Still wandering in the art gallery, my attention got caught by a collage that actually came up as an obvious echo to my encounter with Isabelle. Another group of celestial bodies appeared to form a pattern on the wall. This explosion of fragments and its stellar prisms of light and darkness dazzled me as I was stepping out to leave the gallery.

" Getting Scrappy 3 " by James Gauvreau - wheat paste and paper on wood, 4' x 8', 2009

The next day, I watched a cruelly beautiful film, based on a 1958 one-act play by Tennessee Williams: Suddenly, Last Summer. The film was directed by Josef L. Mankiewicz (1959), and starred Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift.

The flamboyant Katharine Hepburn as Violet Venable in Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

In this film, the three leading actors' performances are incredible. Tension builds up continuously and reaches a climax at the end when the trio's potential harmony (and sanity) is made possible by a cathartic revelation .

Elizabeth Taylor as Catherine, climbing up the steps of her traumatized memory (wearing a sparkling brooch) in Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

In many scenes I saw it, again and again. I noticed the starry pattern in the brooches, in the structure of an armchair or in the fingers of a hand reaching for God's help.

Reaching out for help...

A riveting story based on desires and the inner quest for one's "astres et désastres", an intensely stark and most poetic work ...
After two days gazing at the stars, I raised up my eyes and pondered, this constellation of stars had really worked well on me. It finally reflected my steadfast belief in the existence of my own lucky star.

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