Yannick De Serre’s significant exhibition

Through March 11, Atoll art in Victoriaville is showing “Resilience and Other Healings” by Yannick De Serre. It is an exhibition full of meaning, where we can discover an artist who is also a nurse by profession.

Yannick’s two personalities fit naturally into the different installations in this exhibition. If he first studied fine arts before dedicating himself to nursing in the early 2000s, the artist today manages to express his talent well with works that often use hospital equipment.

Art also allows him to express his emotions in the face of death, which he regularly encounters in his job as an ER nurse. It’s even a way to pay tribute to those who lost their lives while under his care and mourn at the same time. Thus, he explains that for each death of a patient to whom he was assigned, he obtains a lace handkerchief with a flower (a nod to the funeral bouquet) that he later uses in his artistic practice, either to clean his hands, remove a paint stain, print, etc. This until the next death since he puts aside the handkerchief in use to take a new one. And at the end of the year, the scarves in question are respectfully collected and wrapped in Japanese paper (like a shroud), tied and identified. The result is an emotionally charged work that is also on display at Atoll. “For 18 years, all these scarves have been wrapped in the same way, in a kind of ritual,” he said.

Absence-presence, life-death are concepts present in his artistic practice, which, however, is not morbid. In fact, there is a certain serenity in his work, even an acceptance.

Thus, medical objects become tools for the artist who even uses dots to mark works, to write words on them. He has featured in his work for the past four years since he learned the technique while working in the far north of Quebec. “For me, the suture is a way of healing, of repairing, and it represents the scar,” he adds.

Yannick also presents, as part of this exhibition, the material he uses, thus mixing that of the artist and that of healing. Although he calls himself an artist above all, he is sensitive, he is interested in people, in relationships and meeting others, he confesses that it is out of fear of not having a job that he studied nursing. His hospital work allows him, therefore, a certain security that gives him the opportunity to flourish artistically. But the two merge and feed each other more and more in his works and he is no longer afraid of appearing in his two roles that give meaning to his approach. In addition, knowing where it comes from allows us to better understand the works and the depth they have.

Memory, traces, conservation are concepts that he integrates into his practice, which today focuses on drawing and engraving.

Each work is thought out and we can see, in the exhibition presented, the entire path traveled so far and all the meaning that the path of this artist-caretaker or caretaker-artist takes. In addition, Yannick remembers that this project that he offers in Atoll, he has been working on for 18 years.

It is therefore a very personal exhibition for the artist and interesting for the visitor that approaches life, death, rituals and memory in a respectful way, with materials that are linked to them.

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