Franco-Canadian artist Marc Walter created five large sculptures in Carcassonne as part of the annual Festival de Carcassonne.
The first and largest is the “L’embrassade” (“The Hug”) sculpture located on the tip of l’île de la Cité Park and below the Pont Vieux (Old Bridge.) The sculpture is 7 meters tall and 9 meters wide. Marc Walter uses natural materials like wood, rock and earth to create his “Land Art” sculptures. For this project he used tree branches collected from Carcassonne’s public works after pruning the local trees. The sculpture is made by weaving the branches and securing with twine to created a large figure of a man with arms outstretched to the sky. A bright red heart can be seen inside the sculpture. The image is very reminiscent of an 3-D version of a Keith Haring painting.
In Square Gambetta the artist created four additional sculptures. Standing five to six meters high, I thought these “Invités du Coeur” (“Guests of the Heart”) sculptures had a Native America feeling. The weaving of the branches creates a vision of Indian basket weaving and the silhouette reminds me of woman with a blanket draped over her shoulders. Again created using recycled tree branches and twine, the four figures allow you to step inside and experience the art from the interior. Each sculpture has a distinctly red heart like the “L’embrassade” sculpture, but these figures were somewhat more abstract in appearance. We watched the artist and volunteers from the community build the sculptures over the last six weeks. I spoke briefly with artist Marc Walter while he was working. He was very friendly, accessible, and happy to discuss his work. I was thankful because of Marc’s Canadian roots I was able to communicate in English. He works very hard to actively involved the entire local community in the work as a collective effort in the art. The completion of the project was marked with a picnic celebration with the community invited to attend.
In all, a remarkable exhibition of public art by artist Marc Walker using local recycled materials and involving community volunteers.
To see more visit Marc Walker’s website at www.marcwalter.ca
A YouTube video creating the art is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNuHsObwnOA