From a philosophical point of view, I wonder about our relation to the wild animal. The force and protectionism connection that we sustain with it allows us to either shoot it or protect it. I discover how much this thought of the animal expresses a collective embarrassment that has been lasting for millennia. Many questions remain without any answer: “Do animals think? Are they endowed with reason? Do they have the same sensitivity than we have? Should we forbid ourselves to eat them? Why then do they stay so silent?” This last question strikes my imagination. I would like to explore this idea of the animals’ voice or language by integrating sound records during a future exhibition. Les Invisibles is a pictorial creation project that will allow me to expose those species forgotten: foxes, coyotes, beavers, weasels, muskrats, and lynxes. I want to capture the story of these entities through a nearly mythical trade: trap hunting.
Invisible Beast that Populate the Forest
My parents have always been passionate about animals in all their forms. Horses, quails, hens, dogs, cats, turkey, sheep, goats and calf have filled both my childhood and my imagination. Even though I lived at the edge of the forest, I only rarely saw wild animals. The only moments when I could go near these wonderful creatures’ universe, when I could see what seemed invisible to me, were the moments that I spent with my father who is a trapper. During those times, I would climb on his snowmobile and we would go deeper in the forest looking for its inhabitants.
Those harvesting trips would then put me in a state of anticipation and fear. Sometimes a racoon still alive was waiting for us, its paw stuck in a snare and its only defence would be its cries and look. At other times, I observed my father work on a snare imprisoned in the ice. I saw his satisfied look after discovering a beaver inside the free snare. I then brought back the harvested animal. I observed its heaviness, its smell, its fur. After having skinned the rodent, my father carefully stretched out the leather with the help of an impressive quantity of small nails all uniform, laid-out at equal distance. The leather fixed in this way formed a big red circle that I found as beautiful as the sewing patterns that my mother used in order to make our clothes. The beast was then becoming a skin, an object, a piece of fur that would cover other skins…the ones of men.
People and Forest
Trapping will probably be omnipresent in my creations as I wish them to be reminiscent of the existence of this profession. A trade that still keeps this privileged and direct connection with the resource year after year. A trade that is unknown nowadays, but that was tremendously practiced from the moment of the arrival of the Europeans on our continent. I would like to show the nobility of a trapper’s work. Barbaric at first sight, I nevertheless find the trapper’s gestures rich in historic know-how. Who would have the courage and the much-needed skills to harvest a beast with dignity and to prepare its fur so as to make a piece of clothing out of it? The trapper’s work allows us to have a consciousness of our impact on the nature.