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Lee Paquette
From May 2nd 1987 to May 23rd 1987
Cheminée, oreille et crevasse

Since my last show at S. L. Simpson Gallery ("Rootings, plantings and other insertions"- cf C Magazine, Spring 1986), I have been working on three large sculptural pieces as well as gathering photographic imagery of a variety of industrial sites.

The sculptures are a smokestack constructed in a kind of woven pattern, which reflects the dynamism of the stack’s shape, and movement of smoke. Choosing to build up the smokestack and its particular pattern with wire amplifies the physicality of such a structure and invokes a more expressive quality to the piece.

The next component is an enlargement of the parts of the ear. The piece is partially suspended and balanced from a central column similar in look to a hydro standard. The outer ear is made in a combination of materials, which focus on the topography and movement through the interior, whereas the outer and the inner ear will be hallow to allow for air to move through them or at least give the sense of resonance in the piece.

The third part of the show is a latex rubber casting of a rock crevice, which sits in a plywood crib work. The design and pattern of the support structure for the latex uses the system commonly used for bridges, trestles, and hydro standards as well as being indigenous to the area where the casting was done. To do the casting, I spent five days in Cobalt, Ontario taking the impression of my particular rock surface. I chose the location because of its mining history as well as the physical evidence and interplay of industry and the environment. The spot I cast in overlooked a former lake, which has turned to desert as a result of mining operations pouring into the late.

During the same time, I have also been documenting various industrial sites. Some of them include stone quarries, logging sites, mining sites, steel mills as well as natural terrain and elements, soil, water, sky. The most concentrated time has been spent at Inco in Sudbury.

To date, my photo pieces are approached by using one roll of film to make one image: I execute these composite images either by standing in the centre of the location and doing a 360 degree photograph, or shooting a spot as I drive. Shooting while driving offers certain variables since I don’t look through the camera to compose, rather I point which I drive without looking. These images become more about peripheral vision while the first approach shows the site.

The cohesive aspect of this work is that all these elements deal with particular sensibilities as they relate to industry and the environment. However the work is not intended to point fingers, rather it lays out various clues and evidence of our involvement and complicity in the value systems operating in our culture. That of the environment as commodity.
- (Excerpts from Lee Paquette’s statement)

Gravel, Claire, « Le monde miné de Lee Paquette », Le Devoir, samedi 16 mai 1987 C-11.
Boileau, Jean-Marc, « Arts et spectacles; Allons jouer dehors! », Liaison St-Louis, 13 mai 1987. p. 12.