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Art & Culture

  • Quebec
    SOLSTICE
    by GUIDO MOLINARI

    A veritable kaleidoscope of light, Molinari’s mobile sculpture, Solstice, is a tribute to the rhythm of the seasons. The glass panel installation is over eight metres high and was set up by designer Michel Dallaire. This brilliant installation resides in our St. Catherine Street store in Montreal.

    Guido Molinari was a major figure in Canadian contemporary art, a precursor of minimal art, and head of the school of geometric abstraction in Montreal. Throughout his career, he was the recipient of many prestigious awards and garnered international acclaim for his work using contrasting lines, shapes, and colours.
     

    LA FONTAINE DE TOURNY
    by MATHURIN MOREAU and ALEXANDRE LAMBERT

    To commemorate the founding of Quebec City, the Simons family wanted to give their fellow citizens a gift that would show their love for the city that welcomed their ancestors. Found in a Paris antique store, the Fontaine de Tourny is today installed right in front of Quebec's National Assembly, where it is an exquisite focal point for the parliamentary grounds. This antique urban treasure was created by Mathurin Moreau and Alexandre Lambert, a pair of sculptors renowned throughout Europe in the 19th century.  Winner of a gold medal at the 1855 Paris World's Fair, the sculpture was cast to celebrate the first water supply system in Bordeaux. After a complete restoration, it was inaugurated in July 2007 to kick off Quebec's 400th anniversary celebrations.

    THE CUPOLA OF SAINT-AMAND-LES-EAUX
    WALTER CRANE

    This cupola, attributed to Walter Crane and made with Italian glass mosaic tiles, used to adorn Château Bouchart, which was built in the late 19th century by a prosperous industrial family in France. The bright and gilded work depicts the story of two knights competing to win the heart of a princess.
    After being restored by two specialists from Italy, the cupola was installed in our Old Quebec store in 2005. It was lovingly dedicated to Carlo and Maria Cusan, and all Italians living in Quebec City, to commemorate their cultural and social contribution to the community.

    LA VISITE
    by PIERRE LAFOREST

    Commissioned by Peter Simons, La Visite celebrates the colourful past of our store in Old Quebec. In 1648, when Quebec was home to a mere 500 people, this was the site of the town's first inn. The aptly named proprietor, Jacques Boisdon, was required to discourage drunkenness, cursing, gambling, and scandals, and to close his establishment during church services and on feast days.

    PIERRE LAFOReST used this story as inspiration for a scene that takes us back to the everyday life of Quebec's first residents. A muralist living on l'île d'Orléans, Laforest uses a technique similar to that of the Dutch Masters of the 17th century.   
     

    ÉCLOSIONS
    by YOLAINE PLANTE

    Éclosions is an oil painting in four phases symbolizing the main stages of the human life cycle. Its first stage represents a female figure opening up to the world, and the viewer follows her until she has fully blossomed and become aware of her plurality. Created in 2004, the work is located at the Customer Service Desk of our Saint-Bruno store.  

    YOLAINE PLANTE is a Quebec painter who plays instinctively with colour to evoke ideas of dawning, birth, and renewal through light and the vibrational feel of her work.

    BUBBLING SEA FOAM
    by PASCALE GIRARDIN

    Located in our Place Sainte-Foy store, Bubbling Sea Foam is a mobile that subtly addresses our fundamental relationship with nature.  The expansive space in which this mobile gently sways evokes man’s relationship with emptiness, the peaceful fluttering of objects in weightlessness, the mild caress of a breeze, and the constant, repetitive movement of waves lapping against sea clay.

    PASCALE GIRARDIN is a world-renowned ceramicist as well as a designer of art objects and architectural installations.
     

     

    AU FIL D'UNE VIE
    by DANIELLE APRIL

    Installed at Carrefour de l’Estrie in Sherbrooke, Au fil d’une vie nestles in a scrolled archway.  Glass, titanium, and aluminium come together to form sinuous lines that are seemingly weightless, an impression that is reinforced by openings that create a soft, luminous vibration. Although imposing, the work captures the fluidity of a piece of cloth unravelling in the space and creates a subtle effect of sheer guipure lace.

    DANIELLE APRIL is a renowned multidisciplinary artist who has displayed her work in over a hundred exhibitions in Canada and around the world. For Au fil d’une vie, she was inspired by the work of William Morris, an artist of the Arts and Crafts Movement who was known for his love of craftsmanship and the beauty of his plant motifs.
     

  • Ontario
    Torrential Red
    by Shayne Dark

    Located in our Ottawa store, the sculptural installation Torrential Red evokes the contrasts between urban settings and the natural world. Fond of raw natural elements, Dark collected trunks of ironwood naturally fallen in the forest near his home, which he intertwined and saturated in brilliant red for a visually complex and engaging artwork.

    Shanye Dark is a nationally and internationally recognized contemporary artist who is originally from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and is now based in Ontario. His sculptural installations question our physical relationship with our environment and attempt to establish a communication between beings and the environments in which they evolve.
     

    RAINCITY ROBOT
    by BRENDAN LEE SATISH TANG

    Juggling futuristic and traditional ideas, Raincity Robot brings to light the tensions and contradictions that characterize contemporary culture.  The Chinese vase recalls the Four Sisters smokestacks of the old Lakeview Generating Station, while robotic limbs inspired by barnacles make up the base, a nod to Mississauga’s high-tech industry and the city’s lakeside location.

    BRENDAN Ls TANG is a Canadian artist born in Dublin to Trinidadian parents. His reconfiguration of traditional art and use of mixed media explore the notions of tradition, cultural appropriation, and hybridity. internationally recognized, Tang's work is found in the permanent collections of many top museums.
     

  • Alberta
    ANIMAL LOGIC
    by RACHEL DENNY

    Through her work, Denny explores the unpredictable beauty of nature and the mark that human intervention leaves on plants and wildlife. Animal Logic connects hunting trophies with cashmere knitwear in an innovative expression of the complex bond we have with our environment.

    RACHEL DENNY is a U.S. artist who works in many mediums. This installation is part of her best-known series, “Domestic Trophies.” Denny, who is passionate about the outdoors, hunting, and artisanal trades, works out of a studio nestled in the woods near Portland, Oregon.
     

    SIMONS AURORA
    by PHILIP BEESLEY

    Simons Aurora is a hybrid installation that blends sculpture and architecture. The work forms a delicate canopy, an ocean of light that swells and ripples in time with the waves of human life. The installation reveals just what reactive architecture can accomplish as it interacts with the movements of visitors at our West Edmonton Mall location.

    PHILIP BEESLEY is an architect, practicing sculptor and digital media artist. He is renowned for his research in industrial design, digital prototyping, biochemical processes, and mechatronic engineering. His award-winning work is recognized the world over.
     

     

    PETAL GARDEN
    by UNITFIVE

    Located in our store at West Edmonton Mall, the Petal Garden installation is a throng of wrought metal flowers. Floating gently above visitors’ heads, the light, delicate forms are reminiscent of ornate lace and fine lingerie. 

    UNITFIVE is a Toronto-based studio founded in 1996 by Lisa Santana and Kelvin Goddard.  Their exploration of metalwork has allowed them to hybridize traditional techniques with cutting-edge manufacturing technologies. Bridging the gap between art and design, their creations are recognized on the international scene.
     

     

    BOOK PHOTOGRAPHY
    by CARA BARER

    In a world where digital technology has transformed the way we read and learn, Barer questions the future of books through her work.  Sculpted, dyed, and then photographed, the books are elevated to works of art by the end of her long metamorphosis.

    CARA BARER is a U.S. photographer who lives in Houston, Texas. Her artistic process explores the notions of obsolescence, transformation, and evolution.
     

     

    FUNHOUSE
    by MAYA GOHILL

    A large three-storey mural brings our store at The CORE in Calgary to life and takes us on a magical and multi-coloured journey. Exploring the theme of childlike wonder, artist Maya Gohill has created cute characters in a whimsical home where art and literature take centre stage.

    A native of the city, Maya Gohill is known for her captivating, satiric works of art. According to her, life and art are meant to be fun, interesting, and a little bit quirky. She wants the narrative of her paintings to inspire people to ask themselves, “What's the story behind this?”

  • British Columbia
    KAYACHTUN
    by JODY BROOMFIELD

    Visitors of our Vancouver store are welcomed by a sandblasted granite relief created by Jody Broomfield, a Coast Salish artist of the Squamish Nation. The design, whose title means “Welcome!,” pays tribute to the Spakwus (eagle), a symbol of great power and spiritual protection that carries prayers to ancestors in the spirit world. In addition to echoing the traditional Salish hand gesture of greeting, the perfectly symmetrical wings represent the connection between the spiritual and living world. 

    BOW TIE
    by DOUGLAS COUPLAND

    AT THE VERY HEART OF THE PARK ROYAL SOUTH STORE, SUSPENDED IN MIDAIR, TWO BRIGHTLY COLOURED STRIPED CONES COME TOGETHER AND MEET AT A NEARLY IMPERCEPTIBLE POINT. THIS STUNNING REFERENCE TO FASHION, CULTURE, AND ENGINEERING IS A SCULPTURE BY VISUAL ARTIST, NOVELIST, AND DESIGNER DOUGLAS COUPLAND.

    INNOCENCE DISOBEDIENCE
    by BOBBIE BURGER

    Through this ceramic wall sculpture, artist Bobbie Burgers illustrates feminine rebellion. More than 50 flowers in iridescent blue, grey, white and black in various stages of decay float off the wall, strong and resilient in the face of vulnerability. 

  • Pan-Canadian Project
    3DCANADA
    by DOUGLAS COUPLAND

    The idea behind 3DCanada is to make a crowd-sourced art project with participants from Quebec City to Vancouver.  Between 2015 and 2017, Coupland will visit Simons stores in seven Canadian cities and offer to make a 3D portrait of participants. Composed of one hundred 3D busts, the work will be a cross-country portrait of Canadians and a reflection of peoples' identities in the 21st century. Once complete, 3DCanada will be installed in a future Simons store.

    DOUGLAS COUPLAND is a Canadian novelist, designer, and visual artist. He uses his work to explore the notion of culture and the influence of modern technology on the human experience.
     

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