I was born on an island so small I could see the sea all around me just by turning my head. With one glance, I could contemplate the whole world. The landscape and culture of islands have shaped my view of the world and have made of me an islomane, [1]  a word coined by Lawrence Durrell to describe an individual who, although apparently normal, is afflicted by a sort of mental disturbance and experiences an indescribable intoxication at the mere sight of a small parcel of land surrounded by water. But the fascination for islands is not just a yearning for a romantic past. It is a contemporary affair that projects the island as a possible benchmark for interpreting the world today. "The enhanced impact of islands on the human imagination is not a passing fad: there is rather an essential contribution of, and by, small islands and their inhabitants to the urban and globalised civilisation of our time." [2] A native of the Magdalen Islands, I have cultivated my emotional and aesthetic relationship with the maritime landscape and culture like most islanders who find themselves on the mainland and continue to identify with their island roots. Over the years I have translated this attachment into a body of work that includes sculptures, installations, drawings, photographs and videos. A few evocative titles: Once upon a time there was a sea, Low Tide, Happy the man who, like Ulysses... and The Wreck of the Angelus. Other works entitled Cod, The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, Cod Liver, Fish Meal and A Fishy Business address an inescapable aspect of maritime culture: fishing. The cod moratorium decreed in 1992 was just another warning signal forecasting the irrevocable decline of a gathering culture and a lifestyle. Teach a man to fish, and he'll empty the sea. Though fish stocks are almost depleted, hundreds of small fishing boats still glean what remains of the bounty. Standing out against the sky and isolated from the boats that support them, the assembled masts are like drawings in space. In the same way, the lumbering hulls leaning uncertainly on docking blocks and stays in the boat parks become a lexicon of shapes. We forget the function of the objects and see only a series of sculptures, in turn "mis en abyme" by the photographic process in the manner of Bernd and Hilla Becher. [3] Speaking of Islands reflects a desire to renew the way we look at everyday objects in island and maritime culture, and to nourish an incurable obsession for those tiny offshore dots we call islands. They are already countless, yet we take pleasure inventing other islands and imagining their contours and inhabitants in our dreams of adventure and escape. Literature overflows with such islands, uncharted on the maps of the world. "Over and over again, we hear or read of how an island is this and an islander is that. It seems as if the island image is too powerful to discard, the opportunity to "play God" is too tantalizing to resist. We would make islands in our own image." [4] My island is not merely a parcel of land surrounded by water; it is the focal point of all my horizons.

[1] Reflections on a Marine Venus (1953), Lawrence Durrell

[2] The Contemporary Lure of the Island (2004), Françoise Péron, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, Brest, France

[3] Bernd and Hilla Becher, German photographers who won the sculpture award at the 1990 Venice Biennale with their photographs of industrial architecture

[4] Island Shapes, Island Forms (2004), Godfrey Baldacchino, Canada Research Chair for Island Studies, Prince Edward Island University, Canada (attribution Dening, 1980)