Jean Brillant


The family of this sculptor was living in the south of France when Brillant discovered stone carving in the Vaucluse region. This led him to the École des Beaux-Arts, Aix-en-Provence then to the Beaux-Arts, Dijon before he attended UQAM upon his return to Canada. Since 1994, Brillant has produced sculptures for exterior environments, among others at Parc de Sculptures Al-Maaden in 2012 where he installed an impressive diptych.


At the core of Brillant’s practice, is a weaving of nature and culture. The artist uses materials such as stone and steel that he transforms to emphasize their resilience, but also to show objects marked by history, that are found in circulation again in our societies. These sculptures propose a physical experience in which nature, the work and the viewer jointly create the vocabulary and the meaning of this hybrid boundary between nature and culture.

At the Symposium, Brillant’s work will find a wider response and accentuate the contemporary political issues linked to nature. Politicians also use these concerns in their electoral campaigns. Faced with the ambient cynicism of the political class, Brillant would like to stress the importance and engagement of each person in society and, consequently, in the artwork itself.


Brillant’s project is to create a corpus of small and medium sized pieces that will be installed in an immersive structure, recalling bookshelves of a library. Each of these sculptures will propose a reflection on politics. Thus, the power plays, wealth sharing, population movements and gender problems, among others, will be presented in assemblages made of raw materials and objects shaped by history.

Such plays of materials and origins will have the effect of locating and at times contrasting various economies, as well as proposing interactive possibilities among them. The artist’s objective is to create a dialogue between Quebec and Canadian society with the rest of the world and to emphasize exchange, points of discord and regulations that concern the public and have a political pertinence. The artist would like the viewer to consider the social and political spheres as opportunities to access knowledge.

Brillant works


Porter la nature, 2016, steel and fieldstones,  photos Nathalie Ermont