December 6, 1989 on the north western slope of Montreal's Mount Royal,
in the Polytechnical Institute of the University of Montreal fourteen
women were murdered in what became the worst mass murder in Canadian history.
They were murdered because they were women. I was living across the street
from the university at the time with my partner, her young son and daughter
and our 18 months old daughter. The killings had a profound impact on
us. All of us.
I was sitting in this clearing on one of my frequent meanders up the mountain
reflecting on events then and now. I noticed the many rocks that seemed
to flow like petrified springs from the mountain side. They were scattered
about as if they were gradually working their way down the mountain. I
began making circles with them around the trees. Circles have been a common
theme in my work (Haywire,
Garden Walls, Kinetic Sketches,
Still Life in Motion) so the form came
naturally. On the south face of Mount Royal in a small pine tree clearing
fourteen circles honour the memory of the fourteen women who died.
On September 13, 2006 at the foot of Mount Royal in downtown Montreal
in the old Mother House which is now Dawson College another young woman
died and many more were wounded at the hands of yet another deranged man
with a semi-automatic. My daughter who was attending Dawson at the time,
missed being in the line of fire by only minutes and chance encounters.
There but for the grace of god...