Before he became an artist, Michel Saulnier studied art history at the Université de Montréal. His first public sculpture appeared in 1989 in Toulouse, France and since then, in addition to private exhibitions in Canada, Japan, Germany and the United States, he has produced more than thirty works of public art.
Saulnier quickly acquired professional status thanks to support from private creative bursaries issued by Québec’s Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Canadian Council for the Arts. During the 1980s, Saulnier was regularly invited by sculptor Jean-Pierre Bourgault to exhibit at the Saint-Jean-de-Port-Joli sculpture festival, and he co-founded the Centre d’artistes Est-Nord-Est in 1982. After having his work showcased in several Montréal galleries, Saulnier’s work was put on display in New York in 1985 before participating in the Les temps chauds (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal) collective exhibit in 1988.
Saulnier primarily sculpts with wood and is able to evoke a confrontation between popular and contemporary art. Each of Saulnier’s works have several levels of meaning, and most feature an appreciation for childhood, animals, and the history of art.
By virtue of its multidimensional and interactive character, Bear & Planet encourages children and parents to discover its different dimensions and tones, which change depending on the time of day and the viewer’s vantage point. Come evening, the blue light of the sky will coalesce with the blue emanating from within the bear. Inspiring calm and trust, the bear watches over us during the night and helps to renew our courage. Saulnier’s mastery in manipulating his medium gives his pieces poetic imagery, and in his words, “allows us to take a glimpse of other worlds”.