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Currently shown
Patrick Beaulieu

The Arcs
Two-part installation made up of 1,111 birds gathered into 15 groups

Artist

Patrick Beaulieu
Born in Drummondville, Quebec, in 1974

Title

The Arcs
Two-part installation made up of 1,111 birds gathered into 15 groups

Date

2016

Materials

Brass, copper and aluminum, automobile paint, bent laser-cut birds buffed with an abrasive brush; LED light fixture by Jutras Bathalon

Dimensions

3.7 x 10.7 m and 3.7 x 17.8 m (each part of the installation, respectively)

Credits

This work was created in accordance with the Government of Quebec's policy on the integration of art and architecture, inv. 2016.458

Collection

Quebec and Canadian Art

Beaulieu, who holds a B.A. in Visual and Media Arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal, was awarded the Integration of Art and Architecture Prize for this installation commissioned for the MMFA’s Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace. Beaulieu is a multidisciplinary artist with a strong interest in the relationships that exist between human beings and the elusive forces that surround them. The creator of many works of public art, he has exhibited in individual and group shows both in Canada and abroad. Over the past dozen years, his desire for travel and new encounters has been the driving force behind his work. He has travelled throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia in the company of authors, philosophers and landscape architects. These excursions have lead him on far-ranging odysseys that involved, for example, tracking the migration of Monarch butterflies from Canada to Mexico (Vecteur Monarque, 2007) and following the prevailing winds of North America as part of an intercontinental trek (Ventury, 2010). His body of work includes sculptures, videos, installations and site-specific/in socius performances.


Viewers of this work made up of 1111 migratory birds enjoy a contemplative experience. The birds’ airborne choreography is rendered in sparkling coloured metals: blue aluminum for starlings, gilded brass for swallows, and pink copper for geese. It maps out Beaulieu’s quest for the invisible yet very real flights of these species we see around us day to day. The light that rakes across them accentuates the dynamic quality of their migratory acrobatics.

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