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Art Public

Ville de Montréal

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La Société des archives affectives

Notre souffle par-delà

Presentation of the artwork
Notre souffle par-delà pays tribute to the nursing profession. The work is situated at the intersection of rue Jeanne-Mance and avenue des Pins, in a small square designed specifically to highlight a visual perspective on Mount Royal. The proximity of the square to Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, the first hospital in Montréal, adds to its significance as the site for a work of public art honouring nursing.

The artwork is composed of three bronze groupings, each referring to a different theme: hospitality, transmission, and care. Reflecting the relationship between patients and nurses, the intimate scale of the work invokes a sense of closeness with those moving through the square or stopping to look at it.

The bronze-cast hands and fabric evoke, in turn, gestures of care and the social fabric supported by these very hands. With organic, undulating shapes, the artists illustrate links that unite and protect people and construct the social network. Suggesting movements softly created by the wind, the material breathes to the rhythm of an imaginary breath – the collective breath of life.

In the spirit of tribute and of the close relationships involved in nursing, twelve of the hands in the work were cast from moulds of nurses’ hands. These special encounters between the artists and the participants in the project provided an opportunity to discuss the profession, and the conversations were captured in a short documentary film produced for this donation project.
Associated events
This citizen-driven project was initiated in 2017 by four 1968 graduates of the nursing school at St. Mary’s Hospital (now the Centre hospitalier de St. Mary): Catherine McIninch Murphy, Maureen Fitzgerald, Brenda Noonan Brown, and Judith Tisseur Norton. Their fundraising effort amassed more than $250 000. Many donors joined the effort to acknowledge the importance of the nursing profession to the community and underline its contribution to the development of healthcare, as well as the intimate connection between nurses and countless lives. The new small square where the work stands was created during renovation of the infrastructure of avenue des Pins.
La Société des archives affectives
The Society of Affective Archives is a collective entity dedicated to artistic collaboration, the production of affective archives, and the preservation of peripheral knowledge. Inspired by the image of the rhizome, a form wherein multiple paths converge and divide in a continual process of transformation, the collective draws upon the principles of experimentation and creative encounters. Animated by the collection and safeguarding of that which lies on the cusp of disappearing or at the margins of consciousness, the Society is a romantic conceptual exploration conceived by its founding members, Fiona Annis and Véronique La Perrière M. Since 2010, they have jointly explored the territory of research and creation in the visual arts.
Fine Arts
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
Mode of acquisition
Accession date
October 19, 2022
Model lost
General dimensions
2 x 2 x 4
  • Atelier du Bronze Inc
Notre souffle par-delà
Le Plateau-Mont-Royal