In the fall of 2016, my attention was drawn by what I thought were wild bees bustling in and out of a cement crack along the Lachine Canal. Starting with simple drawings of the movements of the flight of what turned out to be Vespula Wasps (or paper-wasps), my investigation led to draw analogies and speculative parallels with the cultural history of the larger site of the Lachine Canal and for the society at large. The wasps’ intense activity of labour made me think of the one of the workers who made the Canal a major economic sector especially when at its apogee during the industrial era. They also became an inspiration for me personally with their liveliness, their hard work, their sociability and collaboration. The first phase of this research culminated into an ephemeral installation entitled “Les Ouvrières” presented in situ. The tent resembled a tiny hive with people buzzing about. The viewer was offered a chance to glance over artifacts of my research.
At the end of the fall, the colony died. This was a sad reality I had to face, but it was part of the natural life cycle in a cold climate. At this point of the project, I became interested in the queen, the only survivor who carries life for the next generation. The queen exhibits an inexorable confidence in life and in her own instinct. Inspired by her, I decided to build my own hibernation cell to later mark a pause within my own nest. I went through a long process of making paper from mulberry using the traditional Japanese method. This intense task, all together performative and meditative, was echoing the cycle of my BFA studies which I was about to terminate. As the project evolved, I decided to build a cell made out of felted wool. (see next page "La fois où j'ai écouté les guêpes")