bird, box & spindle

Family Tree Blueprint

Family Tree Blueprint, 1994

Mixed Media on Blueprint Paper (72"x 84")
Collection of the artist
© Julie Lapalme



L’Escalier des arbres
On y monte.

— Claude Hartman, ‘Nocturnes’

The image of the winding staircase developed over the course of a summer, worked on a daily basis as a visual diary fueled by dreams and an interest in domestic architecture. Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space, was an important influence as it sparked my interest in the home, dreams, and memory while working through the notion of personal identity as an artist and woman, who was adopted as a child.

ill-defined knowledge
---------------------------no beginning no end
-----------------------------------------------------no visible root structure

The staircase became tree-like with the addition of birds, blurring the notion of inside/outside by intermingling the tree in the forest with the staircase in the house. The birds enact a family drama, each with their own role to play and position in the tree/staircase to reflect the lives of the birth parents and adoptive parents, inexorably bound to one another through the adoptee, but living in different worlds of perception.


Family Tree  l  Pigeon: Cowardice  l  Cuckoo: Courage  l  Mme.   l  L'Escalier Unique
Winding Staircase  l  House of my Own  l  L'Escalier qui monte