In memory of Christine

In memory of Christine

She stepped into the gallery for the first time in 2018, her beloved René by her side. And straight away, her joyfully musical voice. Her “Bonjour” was far from bland. It was unreservedly alive, heartfelt, sincere. Her eyes, her smile, her singular energy, I liked her immediately. For that was Christine, instantly likeable. Instantly endearing. A human sun, a solar human, an exceptional woman.

I’ll never forget the way she looked at the artworks. Silently at first, she strolled from painting to painting, sculpture to sculpture, in a random, instinct-driven path. Then she’d turn to me, and a rich, colourful conversation would ensue. For that was Christine also, a rainbow human being. A woman of culture, curiosity, passion.

She came back to the gallery a second time, then a third. And many more times after that. We became friends. We shared a passion for art, for life, and above all, for André’s work.

I loved when she’d arrive at the gallery, a coffee, notebook and pens in hand, telling me not to pay any attention to her, to get on with my work. She’d then settle down alongside one of André’s sculptures. She was far too close to see it properly, but that wasn’t her intention, she wanted to sit with it, as you would with a friend. To simply spend time with it, to absorb its inspiration.

After a while, she‘d begin to write. Her hand gliding across the page, without pause. I could hear the music of her pen on the paper. She loved words. She knew how to choose them, link them together, make them dance. Because that’s what Christine was: gifted, intuitive, an artist and a poet. When she’d finished writing, she’d always read me her poem. This is her third one: [Translation]



My name, Free

Windswept soul, I welcome the horizon

Hands open towards the depths

Root, man

Looking within, I discover immensity

Between sky and earth

My name, Free



Praying towards infinity

I carry intimate hope

From sunrise to sunset

My name, Free



I will be in every season

I am yesterday and tomorrow

Here and now

My name, Free


I am of all ages, of all nations

I am free son of the wind

I am breath of the universe

Anchor in the earth

My name, Free


Heart beating, listener of souls

I am refuge

I weave threads

My name, Free


Six poems. Six magical moments when Christine settled down with one of André’s works, carefully listening to it. Six unique moments when she lent her breath, her sensitivity and her boundless talent to give voice to a sculpture, clothing it in words and beauty. Her poems are everywhere in the gallery. They are an invaluable complement to André’s works. In my own name, and on behalf of André, friend Christine, thank you. We miss you.

Christine passed away on April 11 after a long illness. Her departure leaves a huge void in our lives, but her poems are with us every day, leaving an eternal trace of her remarkable soul.


Hélène Bélanger-Martin

Owner of Galerie ROCCIA

May 18, 2024