Located in Cabot Square, and patch of green space on the corner of Ste-Catherine and Atwater, in front of the former Montreal Forum, it is home to a statue of Italian-born English explorer Giovanni Caboto, by Italian sculptor Guido Casini, and a favourite spot for itinerants and displaced Inuit. Until recently, it showcased abstract metal sculptures by Montreal artist Glen Le Mesurier. Titled Arcane de Mer, these were works on a naval theme made from recycled, discarded and salvaged material. They fit quite nicely among the trees, their rusty surface suited to the somewhat rustic state of the square.
They have now been replaced by a dozen sculptures by another self-taught Montreal artist, Robert Lorrain, and they are diametrically different. Closer to art brut than classicism, his bronze pieces are crudely attractive, and some quite charming in their naive presentation. A disciple of yoga, Lorrain has imbued some of them with an eastern feel, but ultimately they are one man's vision and interpretation. Many have already been defaced with graffiti, some of the plaques with titles missing, yet there is something extremely uplifting in finding art among the chaos of downtown, in the most unexpected of places.
So, if not in the mood for the high art of the Museum's sculpture garden, why not sit on a bench in Cabot Square among Indian goddesses, lovers and acrobats, enjoying their silent and welcoming company. And you need not know anything about art to do that. It might even be better...

Robert Lorrain
Photo: D. Kozinska

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