On an Island in the Middle of the St. Lawrence, with Marc Séguin

Illustration—Florence Rivest

Marc Séguin was born in Ottawa in 1970. Today, he divides his time between his home in Québec and his New York studio. A multidisciplinary artist, he is currently working on public art projects and a series of large paintings. His fifth novel, Jenny Sauro, was published in spring 2020 by Leméac.

One late afternoon last summer, with the sound of waves coming in through his open windows, Marc Séguin responded to our Questionnaire.

Your greatest paradox
I live both downtown, in an asphalt and concrete city, and in the countryside, where, at night, the stars and the moon outshine all other light.

Knowledge or know-how you’d like to gain
To paint like Mark Rothko.

Your “green gap”
I can stare at the ceiling for hours, remaining carbon neutral, and the next minute drive my diesel-fuelled farm tractors.

Your best story about the woods or most uncomfortable outdoor experience
I tell the same beautiful story several times a year about sleeping in the middle of the boreal forest and recharging my body on the decomposing forest floor.

The place where you are happiest
My studios, always.

In one word, what does nature mean to you?
Sur-vivre (In English, “to live on,” to survive).

What should disappear from the face of the earth?
Our desire to travel to space and the troubling belief that we are better than the past.

An architectural project that inspires you
All of Mies van der Rohe’s work.

A podcast to listen to on a road trip
Silence! Overcome that vile fear!

What is the essential ingredient for building a sustainable future?
Endless naïveté.

Your secret cottage or camping talent?
Making eggs over easy without breaking the yolks.

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