Montreal artist celebrates John A. Macdonald’s life

Isabelle Miltioux showcases work during three-day artist residency

Isabelle Miltioux posing with her Sir John A. Macdonald-inspired artwork.
Isabelle Miltioux posing with her Sir John A. Macdonald-inspired artwork.
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SALON Theatre productions used art as a fuel to inspire conversation about Sir John A. Macdonald with their weeklong SirJohnA2015 project.

The Kingston-based not-for-profit charity uses a variety of artistic mediums, including theatre and visual art, to inform and evoke thought about Kingston’s history.

Their latest project, SirJohnA2015, was an event to commemorate the life and accomplishments of Canada’s first Prime Minster, Sir John A. Macdonald.

The event featured many artists creating and displaying their work in honour of Sir John A., including Montreal-based painter and visual artist Isabelle Miltioux.

Miltioux did live paintings from SALON Macdonald, on Clergy St. E. She called her display of work for the event “John A, my way”.

Miltioux’s artwork is colourful, vibrant and includes many mediums, including acrylic and pastel. Her work consists of blocks of patterns, textures and detail, which are sewn together, creating a quilt-like effect.

For Miltioux, every detail of her paintings is significant.

“There is so much to tell about one painting. Everything means something, everything is important, even the smallest dots,” Miltioux said.

Isabelle Miltioux’s given name is Isabelle Lauzon, but she is known by her self-created artistic name, Isabelle Miltioux. It’s a representation of her artistic universe and internal inspirations.

“Isabelle Miltioux’s universe is where my characters live and where I can filter my emotions and the situations in my life,” she said. “It’s different than my Isabelle Lauzon world.”

The many influential aspects of Lauzon’s artistic universe appear and interact with one another in her work.

“I sew in my paintings to represent a patchwork of the soul,” Miltioux said. “It represents all of the meetings in life inside of me, and makes a patchwork like a quilt.” A huge part of Miltioux’s inspiration comes from the people, alive or deceased, that she has come across in her life. Referred to as her “centennial friends”, Miltioux is inspired by historical figures, like Sir John A. Macdonald.

“I’ve been inspired by Sir John since about 2012,” Miltioux said. “I had a really strange time with a lot of trials. I saw his face in a documentary and it was like someone pulled me out of the water and since then he has been my invisible friend.”

Miltioux is particularly inspired by what she has read about Sir John A. Macdonald’s personality.

“I like the fact that he was a man of heart and that he was generous. I just love the love he has for people,” she said.

Because of her pre-existing connection with Canada’s first Prime Minister, the artwork for her live show came easily to her.

“I made eight paintings of Sir John A. He is often in my universe of art and he visits my inspiration, so it’s not hard for me to create these,” Miltioux said.

Miltioux was honoured to be included in the commemoration of such an important character and source of inspiration for her.

“To me this has been a dream come true. It’s beyond my expectations,” Miltioux said.

Miltioux’s work is currently being displayed at the Tett Centre for its grand opening.

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