LUNA preview: Nicolas Houle’s Birds Doing Human Things

“I like the colour and everything that comes with the bird, colour fascinates me.”

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Nicolas Houle’s creation Birds Doing Human Things will feature visual and audio landscapes. Photo: Aaron Orlando/RM Magazine

For the second year in a row LUNA: Nocturnal Art and Wonder Revelstoke Arts Festival will transform the city’s downtown core into an amazingly creative art exhibition with many pieces incorporating interactive components to be enjoyed by the public.

This year’s LUNA festival includes 41 artists, many from right here in Revelstoke. The Mountaineer caught up with three of this year’s local artists to chat about their Luna projects, what inspired them and how they’re planning to make their creative vision a reality.

The kickoff is Friday at Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre, the main show from 6 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, and the daytime show is Sunday from 9-4. Here’s a link to the event map.

Nicolas Houle — Birds Doing Human Things

Location: Cage in the alleyway behind Roxy Theatre

Sometimes a location lends itself perfectly to an artist’s vision. Such is the case with Nicolas Houle’s creation titled Birds Doing Human Things. The wire mesh cage in the alley behind the Roxy Theatre will be re-imagined as a larger than life human bird cage where Luna festival goers can walk inside to experience Houle’s multimedia exhibit that will include sounds, lights and paintings of birds taking part in very human-like activities.

Houle said he had been drawing birds for a while when he began to explore taking his art in another direction, he loved the idea of taking the bird somewhere else. For Houle, it’s not necessarily about painting the birds doing human activities, but putting the bird into a human perspective. What would the bird do on a regular basis? How do they interact with one another? Do they have a second life no one else knows about?

 

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“I’m really fascinated with birds, they have bigger eyes on the world. They live above us and they see what we’re doing. They’re really smart, really clever and once you start looking at them the intelligence is just incredible,” said Houle. “I like the colour and everything that comes with the bird, colour fascinates me.”

Houle said he had plans to create up to 10 acrylic paintings that would be housed inside the cage behind the theatre. Houle had already completed a number of paintings, but was still contemplating including several other birds from his drawings. Those include a watercolour painting of a bird whose body is composed of matchsticks, a red bird that connects with the picture of a red bird on a box of matches, and finally an owl with his head down, carrying a briefcase on his way to work titled “Case of the Mondays.”

“I like to draw kind of realistic things, but in a surreal context,” said Houle.

LUNA: Nocturnal Art and Wonder Revelstoke Arts Festival takes place Saturday, Sept. 29 from 6 p.m. to midnight and Sunday, Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Revelstoke’s downtown core. The Luna pre-event featuring Luna artist Zuzanna Riha takes place at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre on Friday, Sept. 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information about the festival visit http://revelstokeartgallery.ca/luna/.