The Cooke-Sasseville duo shines a new light on an iconic architectural feature – the lighthouse – with two monumental sculptures on the opposite shores of the St. Lawrence River. On the north shore, the work stands in the heart of the new Place des Canotiers public square, and on the south shore it is located in the A.C. Davie Shipyard national historical site.
The vast majority of Quebec’s 43 traditional lighthouses are scattered along the coasts of the St. Lawrence River. These proud sentinels of history have been a part of Quebec’s maritime landscape since the early 19th century. The lighthouse is a symbol of protection, hope and calm after the storm. It is an emblem of safety, both material and psychological, that represents our cultural anchors and our fundamental values. It is the light that guides humanity.
The human eye and the lighthouse are intimately connected in popular imagery; when combined, they allude to the paradoxical notion of seeing and being seen. Les Gardiens uses humour to illustrate the key role played by the St. Lawrence River in the development of the communities along its shores. These temporary installations speak to the geographic, historical and social links between Quebec City and Lévis.
This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.
We would like to thank Québec City, the City of Lévis, the Commission de la Capitale Nationale du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts.