Caroline Monnet Interview - The Hopper Prize

Caroline Monnet

Caroline Monnet discusses working on multiple projects & mediums, staying invested & maintaining curiosity, evoking metaphor & a long standing interest in architecture.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a solo exhibition for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, opening in April. Most of the works are very recent and never been shown before. They combines contemporary building materials with the patterns I create to evoke both metaphorically and materially the inequalities in living conditions experienced by Indigenous communities in Canada.

Working on multiple projects and mediums keeps me invested, curious and inspired.

Caroline Monnet

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

I’ve always had an interest in architecture. I’m fascinated by shapes, lines and materials, but also what is possible to achieve with a bit of vision and good design. As a kid, my parents would renovate old cabins into homes. I was constantly surrounded by construction materials. This influences my practice today. Winston Chuchill said : “First our houses are made, then our houses make us” I’m convinced that cheap building materials where lingering moisture create mold, can absolutely affect mental, physical, emotional health. For years, the housing situation in indigenous communities has remained grievously unchanged. In remote regions with harsh winters, construction materials can be scarce and expensive. This new body of work allows me to speak about issues that are important to be aware as a society.

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

I work on multiple projects at the same time and I navigate various mediums. This can range from filmmaking to sculpture, installation, photography and even painting sometimes. Working multiple projects and mediums keeps me invested, curious and inspired. This alllows me to continue to grow as an artist and as an individual.

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

I’m in full production mode for an upcoming major exhibition, which means that, these days, the studio is busy with activity and people passing through. I try to get through important emails first thing in the morning, then leave time for writing, planning, and interviews. Afternoons are used to create new designs, do some research and physically work on the pieces.

Who are your favorite artists?

Teressa Margolles, Lisa Reihana, Theaster Gates, Gordon Matta-Clark, Rebecca Belmore.

Where do you go to discover new artists?

It’s often word of mouth, but also on instagram or going to museums.

Like Ships in the Night, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre, 2018, Caroline Monnet, Curated by Peta Rake

Caroline Monnet is an artist based in Montréal who was recently shortlisted for The Hopper Prize. To learn more about the artist:

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