Wildfire

SHAYNE DARK

About —

Wildfire is an impressive installation created by Shayne Dark. It was commission by the MAJ in 2009 on the occasion of Festi-Glace. Till 2012, it was mounted on the maple tree at the entrance to the museum. Due to the renovation work that has been going on these past two years, it was moved to boulevard Manseau, where it was re-installed in the tree that stands in front of City Hall.

About the Work

Wildfire is part of larger series of works entitled Here and Gone began in 2006. The pieces in the series are made of the driftwood that the artist gathered near his home on the shores of Fourteen Island Lake, some 50 km north of Kingston, Ontario. The sculpture breaks out like a blazing fire from its unusual location changing its appearance with every passing season. In winter, when the tree branches are bare, its bright red stands in marked contrast to the whiteness of the snow; in the spring, when the leaves begin to grow, the red and the green vie with each other; in the summer, shrouded by the tree’s thick foliage, the brilliant red becomes almost invisible, while in autumn it is hard to tell it apart from the red and orange leaves of the maple tree.

Each work in the series is adapted to the spatial and architectural environment in which it is exhibited, be it the natural or the built landscape, thus leaving room to chance and indeterminacy. Symbolic of nature’s processes of creation and destruction, these works are a reflection of the impermanent nature of any environment, of its changeability with each and every life cycle.

About the Artist’s Practice

Dark draws his inspiration from nature seeking to reproduce its cyclical and transformational character. Despite the occasional use of glass and metal, a major part of his work is made of natural materials. For the most part, he uses thickly painted brightly coloured pieces of wood to create visually striking abstract monochrome compositions. Though different in shape and manner of composition, all the sculptures and installations are vividly coloured and they all instill a feeling of a precarious balance. The use of simple geometric shapes and of found materials, the placement of the work in natural surrounding s and the choice of compositional strategies of accumulation, place Dark’s practice at the confluence of 60’s Minimalism, Land Art and Arte Povera. By appealing to the senses through the qualities of the materials he uses, Dark explores the transient relationship between the natural and the man-made, between the internal and the external.

Biography —

Shayne Dark is originally from Saskatchewan. At present, he lives in Hartington, Ontario. His work was shown at the Canadian Embassy in Washington (2002) and in a major exhibition on the occasion of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Widely appreciated in Canada, the United States and Europe, he was the proud recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. Shayne Dark is represented by the Art Mûr Gallery in Montreal and by the Edward Day Gallery in Toronto.

Information —

In front of Joliette City Hall, 614, boulevard Manseau

Exhibited outdoors, the work can be viewed at all times / Free of charge