Montreal, Canada, 2014-01-27 -
It was the sad sight of trashed Christmas trees years ago cluttering the sidewalks after the holidays that prompted Montreal artist Danielle Carignan to save hers and turn it into art. What began as homage to her Christmas tree has become the inspiration for a compelling collection of sculptural works, cut and woven from dead and fallen branches and rescued trunks of trees.
Carignan’s pieces have been described as intimate and elegant, inspired by the personality of wood, by birds’ nests and by nature’s captivating patterns.
The intertwining branches create objects and tableaux that are evocative. For some they are soothing, for others they stir feelings of reverence for nature’s raw materials. The shadows dance, creating patterns that move to the tune of the day’s changing light.
Carignan’s next steps are large-scale murals and suspended artworks for contemporary spaces introducing raw natural elements into grand venues, where modern and traditional materials can play.
Danielle Carignan was born in Montreal. She originally studied graphic design but, in 1994, spurred on by her passion for materials, textures, sculpture and… drawers, she began studying cabinetmaking.
It was during these woodworking classes that she designed “Arthur,” the first of 17 characters in a line of sculptural furniture. She received several honours and grants, including the Prix France-Québec awarded by SODEC. She has participated in numerous exhibitions including SOFA in Chicago and New York, and the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA).
In 2006, she created her first work out of branches by reclaiming her Christmas tree. Carignan is currently working on a new collection of pieces inspired by her enduring passion for wood and trees. All weave the beauty of the wild with the mechanics of the modern.
Photo credit: Danielle Carignan/Annie Lachapelle