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Theme 36 : Mythology and allegory

Mythology is the set of myths and legends that are specific to a people, a civilization and/or a religion. Our societies are imbued with these myths and stories to illustrate certain concepts and to help us understand them better. In art, the representation of mythological and religious characters is common. At the Musée d'art de Joliette, we have several works that address this theme including a sculpture by Alfred Laliberté, Les ailes brisées (1920-1923), which represents the fall of Icarus. Icarus got too close to the sun and his wings, made of wax and feathers, broke off, causing his fall and death. You can admire this work in our permanent exhibition The United Islands.

Alfred Laliberté, Les ailes brisées (1920-1923)

Work in the background: Louise Gadbois, La femme au coussin rose, 1939-1940

Until May 15, 2022, we are hosting the exhibition The trees weep, the mountain still, the bodies rust by Toronto artist Derek Liddington. As soon as we enter the room, we are immersed in an environment where many elements emerge like old memories. We have the impression of walking in a forest, an impression accentuated by the dominant tones of ochre and green, then, with hindsight, we can see a silhouette lying on the walls, perhaps a giant protector of this environment? Derek Liddington quotes in his works several monuments of painting, including Cézanne and Rodin. He also evokes elves, fairies, dwarfs... These ingredients invite us to put together all the elements of the exhibition in order to create our own stories and legends and to reimagine the places we inhabit.

Derek Liddington, The trees weep, the mountain still, the bodies rust, views of the exhibition at the Musée d’art de Joliette, 2022. Photos: Romain Guilbault

👉 With this call for creations in May, we propose that you reflect on the myths, legends and beliefs that accompany you in your lives. Are there known myths that accompany you? What do these beliefs bring to you? Do they help you in your daily life? Have you ever created your own myths and legends? Why do these beliefs exist and how do they materialize in your lives? How do you represent these myths and legends in creations?

To watch for this month:

➔ If you are interested in the theme, be sure to visit, The trees weep, the mountain still, the bodies rust by Derek Liddington at the MAJ, through May 15, 2022.

➔ An article by Nathalie Galego, Assistant Curator of Collections, who will tell us more about the mythological works in our collection.

➔ A new episode of the Subject Matter Expert podcast in which Julie Armstrong-Boileau, MAJ Communications and Marketing Manager, interviews Thomas Hellman, author, composer, performer, and radio columnist, who gives his take on the Derek Liddington exhibition.

➔ You're invited anytime to create on site at the MAJ with your kids thanks to our Station on Wheels. It's full of self-serve creation materials and activity sheets. Come and discover it in our René Préville Family Educational Area (on the 2nd floor of the Museum). Many activities are described in great detail!

Enjoy your creation!

This article was written by Camille Blachot, Communications and Digital Projects Coordinator and reviewed by Julie Armstrong-Boileau, Communications and Marketing Manager, Musée d'art de Joliette.


You have until May, 31 to send us your artistic creations inspired by the theme of the month. The exhibition will be online on Thursday, June 2, 2022.

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