Like a heroine brandishing her weapon, a towering figure emerges from an alleyway with a sculptor’s hammer held aloft, headed for Rue Saint-Paul in Old Quebec. Her jumpsuit and hammer evoke her studio work and stress the great labour and technical skill involved in the creative process.
In this wryly self-referential sculpture, the work’s creator is also the person represented. Valérie Potvin here affirms and valorizes her own status as artist, while also suggesting the need for greater recognition of women artists in sculpture, still a largely male-dominated discipline. Stoic and unshakeable on its plinth, the alabaster monument is also an homage to women’s strength and undisputed importance in the world of public art.
Valérie Potvin divides her time between Canada and Germany. Her art practice is focused on sculpture and installation, and she holds an interdisciplinary MFA and a BFA, both from Université Laval. Her work has received distinctions including the René-Richard Bursary and Quebec City’s Première Ovation arts grant, and she was a finalist for the Videre award for emerging artists. She has exhibited in Brazil, the United States, and Europe, and was selected for the Trois-Rivières contemporary sculpture biennial, Art Souterrain in Montreal, and the Festival Kunst am Spreeknie in Schöneweide, Germany.