Area codes point to specific regions and link people and places together. The title is a metaphor for those defined places, a cluster of homes related to a base, even if hovering in an infinite universe.

I live in Parc Extension, a densely populated, inexpensive, working class neighbourhood in Montreal that has been a landing pad for immigrants for over half a century. I'm struck by the resilience of people who have fled unrest, left behind most of their belongings, uprooted themselves in search of peace, happiness and prosperity for their children. The homes here are simple structures built in the mid-20th century, many have a makeshift quality, additions on top of additions made of repurposed materials. The homes are often adorned with iconography and other displays of personal identity. These ‘markers’ could be in the form of a garden, statues on the front lawn, the colour of paint on the window frames, or a make-shift tree house. The scenes in this series of paintings are taken from actual images from my neighbourhood.

Area Code presents this question; what would a neighbourhood look like if it were catapulted above the stratosphere, as a way of escaping the unrest below? For me, outer space represents that clean slate, a neutral, safe zone where the imagination can explore possibilities and establish itself in search of peace and happiness for future generations.

The panels are each 153 cm x 92 cm. 

Epoxy resin, acrylic and oil on wood.

The following images are details. 

Photo credit: Richard-Max Tremblay 

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