SALVAIL, Reno (1947)

Reno Salvail attended the École des beaux-arts de Québec (1966-1970) and completed a PhD in fine arts and art sciences at the Université de Provence (1995). He also taught at the Cégep de Sainte-Foy from 1993 to 2013. Since the 1980s, he has been using the natural environment (trees and rocks) as more of a point of reference than a source of material; an unconventional artist, he roams the planet, inscribing it with virtual symbols connecting the earth and sky. In a project for the CAIRN (Centre d’Art Informel de Recherche sur la Nature) art centre in Provence, for example, he charted the constellation of Lepus across the side of the Blayeul Mountain in the Alps, planting discreet markers over an area of several kilometres to represent the main stars in the constellation. Visitors wishing to trace his work need only download the GPS coordinates of each marker. Whether in the great North of Quebec or in France, Siberia or South America, Salvail redraws the existing topography of every stop along his journey. In 2003, he published the highlights of his nomadic pursuits in Le Passage de la Grande Ourse.