The unveiling of Jean-Jacques Dessalines at la Maison du Citoyen (Gatineau)

By
Ville de Gatineau

Frantz Liautaud, Ambassador of Haiti, Mireille Apollon, Gatineau Councillor and Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin Mayor of Gatineau

It was a real honour to witness the unveiling of the bronze bust I sculpted of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, founder of the Haitian Nation at City Hall this week. An emotional moment in the presence of the Haitian Ambassador and leaders of the Haitian community who commissioned the sculpture, the Mayor of Gatineau and the President of the Arts and Culture Committee, friends and family. From concept to clay to mould to bronze required 10 months of labour with coaching from my mentor Rosemary Breault-Landry, who refused to let me give up in frustration. Working on a historical figure where there is little agreement on what he really looked liked (!) was already a challenge. Add to that building a historical costume in clay — complete with shirt, cravat, vest and decorations, Napoleonic hat and plumage — as the clay is drying fast, and you have a recipe for an Artist meltdown. Thank you to all who provided loving support.