Marie H. Sirois – English

Marie-Hélène Sirois

Artist

Multidisciplinary artist Marie H. Sirois was born in Chicoutimi in 1978. Now living and working in Magog, she launched her artistic career in 2006 following studies in visual arts, French writing and communication.

In 2010, she began a large-scale project on the German composer Robert Schumann and his wife, the virtuoso pianist Clara Wieck. Their relationship serves as the foundation for four artistic performances through which the different stages of their creativity are depicted in the manner of a four-movement symphony. Building upon the interplay of music, literature and visual art, this project integrates Schumann’s musical work into the overall artistic process. Each visual movement, consisting of a series of paintings, is tied to and draws its inspiration from a specific Schumann score. Selected pieces take on a key role in the exhibitions, as they are played on the piano by Tristan Longval-Gagné and their relationship to the painted work is explained; Marie H. Sirois puts it into context with examples of historical facts and quotations from literary and philosophical works; as her paintings provide the setting for the performances, which are intended to demonstrate the richness of the arts and their interactivity.

The artist takes an average of four years to create a movement. She will therefore have devoted approximately sixteen years to the completion of the project in its entirety. She paints following the technique of Old Masters, using oil and tempera; a technique that involves several execution steps, and in which drawing plays an important role. For each movement, in order to create a singular lyrical universe, she conceives a mobile destined to float on stage above the piano. Prior to painting, she also carries out several photographic studies.

The first movement of the symphony, Le Prélude, was presented to the public in November 2014 and the second, Spiegelbild, in February 2019. In October 2019, in a solo exhibition at the Frelighsburg Art Centre, the artist unveiled some of the drawings and photographs that led to the production of her second movement.

At the moment, Marie H. Sirois is already at work preparing the third movement, Carnaval, in which she addresses the themes of identity and dualism. Carnaval is expected to be unmask in November 2023.

To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.

Robert Schumann