Penelope Stewart: Chantier


9 june – 30 september 2019
Maison Patrimoniale de Barthète
Boussan, France

Or by appointment

Chantier, a primitive hut in the garden at Musée Barthète, Boussan, France, penelope stewart, 2019

Chantier, is a new architectural in situ installation created by Penelope Stewart while in residence at Musée Barthète, Boussan, France. It is inspired by architects like Marc-Antoine Laugier and Le Corbusier’s ideas of « the primitive hut » as an essential architecture. Stewart with the help of many volunteers gleaned and foraged the gardens and forests of the Museum eventually gathering tens of 1000’s of branches which were then used to construct this rustic refuge.

Most recently Stewart has been concerned with ruins and the lengthy history as poetic image, and archive while simultaneously, an unsettling voice of nature and culture in distress and change. The Modern ruin has come to stand as a material reminder of the cycles of life colliding with our fragile utopian and arcadian aspirations or imaginations. Like the fake ruins and follies of the late 18th century which attempted to romanticize the past Chantier, is ultimately, a memento mori and like these follies of the past, Chantier exists in a time of social crisis and anxiety creating perhaps an idealized primordial moment in time and space.

Chantier, detail of the back of the a primitive hut at Musée Barthète,, penelope stewart, 2019

Maison Patrimoniale de Barthete (Musée Barthete) located in the Midi-Pyrenees is a museum dedicated to the collection and conservation of historical tiles, faience, ceramics and contemporary art. Each year the museum invites a contemporary artist, national or international. to be in residence and to respond to the collection.

Beginning in 2006, Stewart has been creating sensory structures which reflect an ongoing engagement with the relationship between nature and the built environment and the social construction of private and public space. It was at Musée Barthète in 2007, that Stewart, created her first sensory architecture parois in which she transformed a room by entirely tiling the space with beeswax tiles interpreted from the tiles at the museum. Chantier, continues this exploration of sensory architectures, and facilitates a phenomenological, an embodied engagement.

Maison Patrimoniale du Barthète
31420 Boussan, France

05 61 98 76 42

Stewart was born in Montréal, Québec. She received a BFA from York University, Toronto and an MFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Stewart is the recipient of numerous grants and awards from the Toronto, Ontario and Canada Arts Council’s. Further, Stewart’s large-scale photographs received First Prize at Photo-Op, Toronto, and at the prestigious Centre for the Perceptual Arts, (CEPA), New York. In 2010 she was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts (RCA).

Stewart’s work has been exhibited since 1990 with key solo exhibitions in Canada, Australia, France, Czech Republic and the US including such notable institutions as The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo New York; Musée d’Art de Joliette, Québec; Ganna Walska Lotusland, Montecito, California; Musée Barthétè, Boussan, France; Koffler Gallery, Toronto; Oakville Galleries, Ontario; Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Ontario; The Military Museums, Alberta; ACT Design Museum Canberra, Australia; Poimena Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. Stewart has participated in numerous international residencies in Australia, France, The Netherlands, Italy, the US and Canada.

In 2016 Stewart received a commission for Maison Alexandre in Paris, France and was shortlisted for a CAMH Public Art commission. During 2017 Stewart was in residence at Linda Duvall’s/PAVED Gallery Saskatoon’s In The Hole residency followed by a residency/exhibition in Medicine Hat, Alberta at the Medalta Museum. In 2018 Stewart was awarded the Nick Novak Fellowship at Open Studio, Toronto which allowed her a full year of intensive research and the creation of a new body of work showcased at Open Studio in January 2019.

In the autumn of 2018, Stewart saw the culmination of a collaboration with artist and writer Jenn Law; art+reading, the first issue of a serial journal exploring the interconnection with reading and making and is the first initiative of a new publishing platform that seeks to understand reading as material practice. Stewart and Law launched their project at Impact 10 Encuentro/Encounter Conference where they were presenters. This was followed by a Canadian launch at Open Studio in Toronto and 3/editions at The Toronto Art Fair. Currently Stewart and Law are working on the second edition due in the autumn of 2019.
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Penelope Stewart would like to thank Suzanne and Claude, Lége co-directors of the museum, Jean-Guy Haché and the many Friends of Barthète who came and worked along side, gathering branches, and using their building skills to realize this project.

The artist would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council for their generous support of this project.