This body of work is part of an ongoing project called La Chambre des Cultures which began in 1995 and evolved during the course of the artists' numerous residencies in different microbiological laboratories. The artworks presented in this exhibition resulted from a three-week residency in the Biology Department of Bishop's University where the artist cultured fungal microorganisms and bacteria. Appearing throughout the installation in test tubes, flasks and petrie dishes, these vibrantly coloured and richly textured life forms are microcosmic universes through which Thibault's exploration into the origins of life unfolds.
techniques are employed, the risk of contamination is always present and is
emblematic of the potential invasion of chaos which, according to the artist,
provides a rich source of creative energy that prompts her to explore alternate
possibilities which inevitably redirect the artistic process.
Although much of her practice depends on
scientific methods, early alchemist myths about
the origins of life and its accompanying imagery
pervade the artistís imagination, providing the
impetus for much of her investigations. While
present-day scientific discourse tends to dissociate
itself from its alchemist and vitalist roots which are
believed to be tainted by superstition, for Thibault
what is most compelling, is the fact that these
initial cosmogonic inquiries were guided by the researcherís spirituality and
A rhizomorphous network comprised of interconnected
laboratory glassware is a metaphoric expression for the
migration of life-forms, capturing the artistís wonderment
in the face of living matterís incredible adaptability and
ability to emerge in previously uninhabited territory.
Beeswax sculptures reminiscent of marine algae and flower
petals protrude from glass funnels affixed to ring stands.
Fusing scientific instruments with sculpture, Thibault
engages in the deconstruction of the artificial barriers
between the scientific, natural and artistic realms.
Annie Thibault lives and works in
Hull, Quebec. In 1989, she
obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts
degree from the University of
Quebec at Hull. A recipient of the
Claudia De Hueck Fellowship in Art and Science in 1998,
she was also recently awarded the gold medal for sculpture
at the Jeux de la Francophonie.