The whispering walls


In seeking to improve access to arts and culture, to promote the work of artists and to improve the quality of our living environment, the Ville de Montréal gives special importance to mural art. As part of a pilot project established in 2014, five murals were completed in 2015, in four different boroughs.

Tribute to Norman McLaren, on Saint-Laurent boulevard, is one such mural. Part of a series entitled Montréal’s Great Artists, it was designed by Jason Cantoro for MU. The mural features five panels inspired by the stroboscopic ballet dancers of Pas de Deux (1968), a landmark NFB short film by the animation pioneer Norman McLaren. In Cantoro’s mural, the panels flash along the side of the building, with lively, fluid images that give passers-by a truly kinetic experience.

On Fleurimont street, in Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, Mathieu Bories (a.k.a. Mateo) has created a giant yellow-and-blue mural entitled MÁS. It depicts a slender woman whose eyes are covered by a banner inscribed with the Spanish word más (“more”). She sits cross-legged, holding her finger to her lips—as if calling for silence, as if encouraging and reminding us to take the time to reflect.

A different flavour of street art is grabbing our attention at the corner of Sherbrooke and Jeanne-Mance. Produced for Mural (the Plateau’s yearly international festival of public art), the work was created by Favio Martinez (a.k.a. Curiot). This artist is known for his frescoes depicting mythical creatures in vibrant colours. They blend human and animal forms while alluding to a number of Mexican traditions.

Where the city is adorned in works of art like these, the walls seem to communicate with us through words and images and colour, in a silent urban dialogue.