Townsend drew inspiration from her two sisters’ experiences with cancer. “I was deeply moved by the humanity exhibited by the medical and social communities supporting people with cancer. That’s what led me to choose these two majestic materials – gold and wood – as the starting point for my mural project.”
The title, Lux Domum (“house of light” in Latin), is steeped in this notion of light, but also that of a closer semantic connection between the feeling of comfort evoked by the round dome and that of the house (domus) as a protective and reassuring focal point. Featuring a mural with a maple wood surface embedded with two concave domes, one of yellow gold, the other of white gold, this work will be open to interpretation by passersby. With their comforting form and rich, glossy matter, the large domes are designed to suggest associations between positive ideas. Recognized for its durability, the light-coloured maple wood also contributes to the overall luminosity of this mural work. That said, the work remains open to interpretation, based purely on the viewer’s imagination. It cannot be taken in at a single glance from any specific viewpoint. When viewing it from the side, beneath the staircase, or from the floor below, one can only guess at its secrets, which will only be revealed with time and movement.
Materials: wood, steel, fibreglass, yellow gold, white gold.
Dimensions: 7.7 m x 7.6 m
Location: Cancer Centre
Get to know the artist
Ottawa-born Martha Townsend now calls Montréal home. She uses sculpture and drawing to work with form: spheres, cubes, holes and lines inhabit her minimalist aesthetic. Her works are marked by a dramatic material presence - they are often impressive in terms of size, but they draw their essential appeal from the density of the material used and the poetry reflected in their form. Her works are exhibited throughout Canada, and were recently featured at Montréal’s Musée d’art contemporain and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. She has also created public art works in Pointe-Claire and Toronto.
Photo credit : Richard-Max Tremblay