My papier mâché/collage works using antique sheet music seek to celebrate and repurpose the best and worst quality music from my great paper era collection of music which spans close to 300 years (1723-1945).
My creative endeavours have focused on creating and celebrating language with a particular focus on universal languages. As a multi lingual and multi cultural person music was (and still is) a most tangible link to culture for me. I grew up moving every two years and although we were posted far and wide, my parents, an Irish mother from \ Northern Ireland and a French Canadian military man with Métis heritage, made sure we were given strong links to our mixed heritage.
I also use it because the wealth of printed music from the last several centuries has become obsolete for the most part. It was collected and shared with great care and love, from one generation to another, as such the quality of the paper was essential to its longevity. The greatest paper made over the centuries was made for music, which was to pass from hand to hand to hand. I have had a great love for it and have always yearned to use it in my work as an artist and artisan.
A few years ago I stood at the threshold of moving from a production based life with my natural works which focused on the universal language of nature and the nature of language, to one of larger sculptural pieces. It would allow me to delve even deeper into the dialogue of healing through artistic practice and provide me with new challenges of materials explorations and subject matter. I began with a buffalo, a guide to protect me in my journey using a paper mâché technique though this was to be made of music paper that I cared for (and others had too) a great deal. It was therefore important to honour every aspect of each piece of music I used for this work. As such, the inventoryof colour and texture, print quality, graphic composition and decorative whimsybecame components of my palette used to create and adorn my sculptures.
The making of Ferdinand.
As a storyteller it was important that the journey of discovery in the paper sculptures be not limited to their creative component compositions but that explored other dialogues as well. As such my animal sculptures all have a male and female side as we must all care for and honour both in ourselves this is also evidenced when considering formal musical staffing and then the organic use of different ages and qualities of paper to create a new organic musical tapestry.
I have continued to learn to use the music in different ways and have set myself challenges to push the boundaries of my practice. As such I have also created two dimensional pieces which require a completely new inventory of strategies for effective visual engagement. The learning is ongoing. The love of music strong, and sharing of that collective love through art is my new purpose.
Roisin Cécile Yvonne Cadieux
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Photos of Roisin Cadieux’s working process.