L’œuvre et le graffiti

On artwork and graffiti

«Ocean Bone, the large sandstone work […] stands guard inside the entrance to the Trade & Convention Centre at Market Square in Saint John. I have always been impressed by its appeal to the public – invariably visitors make their way to it, stroke the surface and caress its dynamic forms. I have also been very disheartened to see a proliferation of incised damage – names, initials, dates and signs – spreading across the carefully polished exterior. I was not surprised by Marie Hélène Allain’s view on this. She explained that just as she was a temporary agent of change acting upon the original rough rock, so too is the incessant graffiti a part of the life cycle of this magnificent piece of stone. How apropos.»
Peter J. Larocque, Telegraph Journal, 1er octobre 2011

«How do I feel about the graffiti?? …

«I don’t take it as a personal address.

«Throughout the world, people who are free to do so have tended to mark their names, significant strong feelings and/or emotions on rocks, surfaces along roads, public buildings, walls, subways, et cetera.

«I just read back the presentation of my project and it said: « Considering… the open aspect of the lobby and the fact that a lobby does not necessarily invite people to stay still, to sit down, relax and dream, I shall want the sculpture to be a constant presence and a welcome sight for the people, not a distant trophy on a pedestal, a precious object of display bearing the note ‘Do not touch.’ Therefore, the sculpture would stand on the floor ».

«One day, a friend of mine, visiting Market Square counted 18 children perched on the sculpture at the same time. It is surely a work that is inviting to be approached. Fortunately, it is big enough to bear graffiti without being too much disturbed in its meaning and presence when we look at it from a distance. Anyway, this lost piece from the ocean contains the feelings, emotions and needs of many people… besides me.»

Marie Hélène Allain, dans une lettre à John Hooper au sujet de l’Œuvre d’océan / Ocean Bone (No 74) sise au Market Station à Saint-Jean, Nouveau-Brunswick.