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Art Public

Ville de Montréal

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Jean-François Gavoty, Guerric Péré

Le jardin de Lyon

Presentation of the artwork
Le Jardin de Lyon is situated in Place J.-Ernest-Laforce, at the intersection of Berri and Viger streets. It is a jardin de proximité, an approach developed by the Ville de Lyon, on the model of New York’s pocket parks, that consists of transforming small residual spaces into poetic, intimate green spaces. They are generally designed by a multidisciplinary team that may bring together a landscape architect, a designer, and an artist.

Le Jardin de Lyon is a landscape design in which is set a sculptural ensemble composed of 12 stems of stainless steel: half of them support lighting fixtures and the other half bronze sculptures. The sculptures are simplified representations of a ladybug, a bird, a cat, a tooth, a triangle, and a high-speed train. These fanciful figures are inspired by drawings in the book Hobo Signs by Terry Fox, which shows various signs used by hoboes to exchange information on their experience of the urban space. With its carpet of indigenous plants, its framing, and the tall stems emerging from the ground, the garden evokes an oversized butterfly box, with the sculptures becoming strange insects. In Jean-François Gavoty’s view, the arrangement extends “the forest of signs that the city offers us.”
Associated events
The redevelopment of Place J.-Ernest-Laforce took place in the context of the 20th anniversary of the exchange and cooperation protocol between the cities of Lyon and Montréal. At the same time, a Montréal team composed of sculptor Michel Goulet; Réal Lestage, urban planner with Daoust-Lestage; and Julie Saint-Arnaud, landscape architect with Vlan, created Le Jardin de Montréal in Lyon.
Jean-François Gavoty
Jean-François Gavoty studied at the architectural school in Grenoble. He then became a restorer of sculptures and murals, and he taught art history, design, and fine art. In 1990, the Musée d’art contemporain had an exhibition of his works. The following year, Gavoty participated in the Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon. His artworks have been presented in Germany, Austria, and Sweden. He produced a series of sundials that are on permanent display in different sites and buildings in France, including the Lycée Robert Doisneau, Collège Élie Coutarel, and the Saint-Barthélémy chapel.
Guerric Péré
Guerric Péré has degrees from the École nationale supérieure du paysage de Versailles and Urbaniste SFU. Since 1996, he has been teaching at the Marseille campus of the École nationale supérieure de Versailles. He has also written extensively on the notion of urban nature. In 1987, in collaboration with Martine Rascle, Péré founded Ilex, a French landscaping firm. The multidisciplinary firm is involved in projects of various sizes, from the creation of urban public spaces to the design of territorial land-use plans.
Awards and honours
  • Palmarès des réalisations Bois Rhône-Alpes, 2001
  • Trophée de l'arbre d'or, 2000
  • Trophé du paysage, 1993
Fine Arts
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
Mode of acquisition
Accession date
December 2, 1999
Stainless steel; bronze; lighting fixture; wood; granite; ironwork; plastic coating; metallic structure; heather; grass
  • Cuffini, Bruno / Fonderie Bruno Cuffini
Le jardin de Lyon
Place J.-Ernest-Laforce
Awards or honours for the artwork