Nicolas Desverronnières

Editor : Est-Nord-Est, résidence d'artistes
Location : Saint-Jean-Port-Joli
Year : 2022
Language : French / English
Author : Véronique Hudon

Artist and author

Nicolas Desverronnières
Nicolas Desverronnières explores the material, constructed, and fictional realities of landscapes, and probes our relationship with and imagination of natural space. During his residency, he researched mountaintop removal coal mining, a common practice in West Virginia, particularly in the Appalachian Mountains. It was around a spectacular image of the destruction of a mountain that his investigation of the American landscape took shape. In the studio were interrelated installations, sculptures, and drawings. On the floor, an installation formed of sculpted wooden blocks evoked a fictional mountain. The gaping holes left between the blocks and the anomalies created by their arrangement produced a displaced or pierced representation of the mountain. Around the installation were delicate assemblages attached to the walls, made of materials collected nearby, such as rocks, a hook, and plants, fitting in with the sculpted forms. These compositions resembled tiny still lifes. Two woodcut prints produced dot by dot with a pyrography tool – an electric pen with an incandescent point that burns wood – portrayed forested sites near Est-Nord-Est. A group of drawings realistically representing nature gave insight into Nicolas’s creative process. Nicolas leads us to reflect on how we apprehend nature through representational contexts, such as maps or models, while bringing sculptural forms and collected raw materials into the picture. His playful work introduces correspondences and gaps between different codifications and representations associated with nature. Thus, he explores the constructed frames that organize how we see natural sites. Drawing on vocabularies of art, science, popular culture, and Indigenous cultures, he underlines the gaps between the popular imagery associated with landscape and the brutal exploitation of nature in the United States.