Bleu de Bleu: Art on arrival

Isa Tousignant

With Bleu de Bleu, an art work by international-known artist Alain Paiement, Montréal says “art” from the word go. Montréal is a city filled with public art and street happenings year-round, and now that starts from the moment you land at Pierre-Elliot Trudeau International Airport.

Presented by National Bank, Bleu de Bleu is an ambitious project that required a year’s research in feasibility and represents an investment of $3.2 million in private donations from the local business community. Pierre-Elliot Trudeau International Airport is already an art-filled experience, with works by Québec artists both famous and undiscovered adorning the walls of the arrivals corridor. Now, the experience continues all the way downtown.

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A welcome celebration

Installed along six kilometers of Highway 20, which links Pierre-Elliot Trudeau International Airport to central Montréal, Bleu de Bleu will welcome all travelers (not to mention commuters) with beauty, creativity and inspiration for the next five years. It was designed by Montréal artist Alain Paiement and produced by ad firm SID LEE in celebration of the city’s 375th anniversary.

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Sounds of the river

Bleu de Bleu was designed to evoke the shores of the St. Lawrence River. Like its muse, it changes and grows more complex as it adapts to the morphing cityscape that surrounds it. Its impact changes depending on the time of day, with sections pulsing to their own rhythm, lit by blue LED lights. Poetically, its rhythm was inspired by sound waves, with one section of the work specifically representing the sound waves emitted by wren birdsong (a common bird in Quebec). Paiement is a multidisciplinary artist whose luminous career spans 30 years of experiments with perspective and the constantly changing relationship between the subject, its gaze and its environment.

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Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant, blogger

Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal’s ecclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.