Opening Reception on October 20, 2016 at 6 p.m.
Kasàlà is a recited poem that celebrates the nobility and the mysteriousness
of a person, through the praising of oneself or the other.
Thuy Aurélie Nguyen, Le Mouton Noir
Montreal, October 4, 2016 – From October 20, 2016, to January 29, 2017, the Espace VERRE gallery will present Kasàlà, an exhibition featuring Ito Laïla Le François’ most recent works. The opening reception will be held in the presence of the artist on Thursday, October 20, 2016, at 6 p.m.
Stemming from the African oral tradition, the kasàlà is a ritual where a poem is recited to celebrate oneself or another. It can help keep flaws at bay to facilitate the finding of inner strength, highlight an important moment in life – a birth, a marriage, a death –, or celebrate an individual. Through joy and gratitude, the act of praising opens up the possibility of reconnecting with one’s roots and homeland.
In her very personal interpretation of the ritual, Le François celebrates the strong women of her inner circle, and reconnects with herself with clarity and serenity. However, instead of words, she uses materials to create her recited poem. Her kasàlà is crafted and sculpted in the image of her friends and muses with the use of glass, ceramic, wool… adorned with feathers, hides, and found objects. Faithful to her signature process of exploring the relation between body and territory, Le François delivers a new series of visceral and obscurely fragile installations, where suffering borders on the sublime: a kasàlà in images, forms, and textures that is a true ode to friendship.
Ito Laïla Le François lives and works in Saint-Narcisse-de-Rimouski. After obtaining a Diplôme d’études collégiales (DEC) in sculpture at the Cégep de Limoilou, she continued her studies at Espace VERRE where she obtained a second DEC in fine crafts – glass option. Her work has been exhibited on Quebec’s Côte-Nord, in Rimouski, Kamouraska, and Toronto. She has received many prizes in her young career, including the RBC Award for Glass and the ForCGal Bursary. Furthermore, her works are part of numerous public and private collections.
Espace VERRE is a glass art creativity centre located at 1200 Mill Street in Montreal. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as the last Sunday of every month, from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free of charge.
Valérie Paquin, Communications Manager