TOUPIN, Normand (1941)

Normand Toupin is known for creating art from recycled materials and objects. His sculptures, which are displayed in a museum devoted to his work in Saint Adrien, near Asbestos, correspond with current environmental concerns but always stem from a place of humour: a vacuum cleaner, for example, is transformed into a duck, a spinning wheel into a squirrel and a floor polisher into the head of a robot. In 2005, his creations inspired children’s author Alain M. Bergeron to write L’abécédaire des zincroyables creatures (“zany creatures from A to Z”), published by Les heures bleues. In 2007, he was given the opportunity to construct an immense sculpture from the abandoned dump trucks, tunnel arches and excavators at the Jeffrey mine in Asbestos. The resulting mastodon (25 metres tall and approximately 12 metres wide), dedicated in memory of all those who had worked in the mine since 1879, would later be displayed in front of the town hall.