The Spotlight Project, created and curated by Michael Hopkins, brings attention to artists who might be known locally or regionally but deserve to be seen by a much larger audience. Each post will feature an artist that you may not know, but should.
“I more or less am an architect. I make plans, and if the project is accepted, I make a survey during the realization. I did architecture and design work in the past, and I know how to approach it in this manner.” – Pierre Woerner
Michael Hopkins: Why just computer images of your sculptures?
Pierre Woerner: I work digitally because it is a good solution if you are poor. I provide a good idea of the final sculpture. Depending on the location of the installation, it might be appropriate to make some modifications, such as scale and materials—not only for economic reasons but also to get the best results possible. The only information missing is the cost.
MH: And you consider yourself a land artist?
PW: Yes, I think as a land artist. I see myself as a land artist.
The Giverny Bridge, 2016
MH: In some of the descriptions of your sculptures, you say that the structure is the result of fractal logic?
PW: When I involve fractal logic in some of my work, I am concerned with the idea that as you start the process, as you respect the logic, somehow the end is foreseeable as soon as you make the decision.
For me, it is an example of fatality. But we all know things aren’t as simple as they seem. It is a mistake to believe that a single flap of a butterfly’s wings will decide everything forever. Quantum physics proves this every day.
Multiple Perspectives, 2017
MH: Was your family behind you becoming an artist?
PW: As a teenager, it seemed natural that I had to do ‘fine arts.’ But my parents forced me to enroll in biology and geology at the Faculty of Science in Nice, France. I spent a year consistently not going to classes until I decided to move on. I was able to register at Villa Thiole in Nice before returning the following year to the International School of Decorative Arts in Nice (Villa Arson). I would stay there for a year. Back in Montreal, I enrolled in art history in order to improve my understanding of what art could be. The following year, I took anthropology as a continuation of my art. At the age of 50, I completed a 3D animation course at Inter-Dec College in Montreal, first out of curiosity. It served me well. With four years of textile design on the computer, it helped me to develop a mode of visualization and illustration to present my projects. The advantage of using the computer is that I can quickly produce and show my ideas in a convincing way. They can be realized at any time if the opportunity arises.
Double Space, 2017
MH: Is it true that the Canadian government has decided to help you further your art career?
PW: Yes. The program is called Diversité Artistique Montréal (DAM). They propose to help me evaluate the direction of my artistic career. They will provide expertise in completing paperwork for submissions, contacts with galleries, and information about contests. They are also supposed to find experienced artists working in land art and installation in order to coach me.
The Difficult Choice, 2017
MH: When did you first realize that you wanted to be an artist?
PW: I don’t remember exactly when I first wanted to be an artist. At a very young age, I spent most of my time drawing, and people around me seemed to enjoy what I was doing.
I was a sick child who spent a lot of time in hospitals with heart problems and surgeries. Drawing was an activity that suited my forced inactivity. Later, at school, to get rid of me and possibly because the school principal was a painter, the teachers decided to occupy me with decorating the walls of the school, without scaffolds. In retrospect, I realize that I was not doing anything good except reproducing and assimilating techniques. I did not have support or training because I was considered too advanced, and yet it would have been a very good thing for me.
Pierre Woerner is an artist who currently lives in St. Sauveur des Monts, Quebec, Canada. Michael Hopkins become aware of his work through Facebook.
Michael Hopkins is a writer and artist who makes drawings, paintings, and sculptures. He has work in numerous museum collections including the Art Institute of Chicago. He has work in numerous corporate art collections including the Progressive Collection and the Wellcome Trust Collection in London, England. He is a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant recipient. michaelhopkinsdrawings.com