Saturday, 10 December 2016

RIP Christian Brun.

On December 5th, 2016, Christian Brun passed away at the age of 46. There is now a void on Earth that can never be filled. Christian touched many lives throughout his life. His positive attitude and infectious personality will be sadly missed.

For those that choose to, you may read his obituary here .


Two years ago I posted a 4Q Interview with Christian and would like to share it with you once more out of respect for the man I admired.


May 30, 2014.

Christian Brun is the Executive Director of the Maritime Fisherman’s Union. He has travelled extensively throughout the world, lived in Mozambique, Africa. He lives in Shediac, NB. He is an exceptional artist and author of several books of poetry. A man of many talents (pardon the cliché but it fits). His website is below.

4Q: Before we talk about your writing and painting, tell us about your desire to travel as much as you have and how did you end up in Africa?

CB: Travels fuel my great curiosity. I have a never ending almost obsessive need to generate new information through observation. I can only go so far with a book and with local travel and have discovered the great wealth of geographical displacement. The movement and grace of difference through people, contact, communication, architecture, food, weather and nature have provided an energy that is hard to describe. While the pizzazz might have somewhat phased with age, I yet feel like an adolescent going through puberty when I leave the country. When I am in a foreign area, I prefer walking, so I can slowly grasp the nuances and the beauty. In 1994, in France, I walked from Spain (San Sebastian) to Biarritz for example. My own little “Randonnée de compostelle” of sorts. After that experience, I understood how travels were not only exploration of sight, touch, sound and smell, but were also experienced from within: all of these new found observations were having a profound effect on my thoughts and perceptions of life. A relatively short travel experience had changed who I was almost immediately; imagine if this was to happen for a longer period…

A few years later, I was confused about what I wanted to do with my life, quite frankly. I was completing my articling with a small Law Firm in Ottawa and was disappointed as to the realities of the practice. Pushing paper was not very fulfilling. Just as I was to pass my bar exams, I was offered a job. I had applied with many Canadian NGOs a year previous as I had a great interest in more long-term travels – so I could get immersed into culture and language.
Mozambique was a perfect opportunity: 1- the project was about civil disarmament and turning weapons into art, 2- Maputo, the Capital where I would be working, was a coastal town, 3- Portuguese was the language spoken, a Latin language, therefore accessible through French basics, another cousin Latin language, and finally, 4- the field of international development seemed much more real and substance oriented than what I had survived in the urban legal world. I took a week to think about it, confirmed and was off a month later in November of 1997.  

4Q: You have three books of poetry published at present. What is it about poetry that that you enjoy and what inspires you.

CB: I like to say things in a snapshot. I like to also play with words. Mostly, I am in love with the metaphor, always have been. The metaphor lets you be true to yourself and not always reveal absolutely all of who you are. I have learned earlier in life that one must protect oneself to be free. Life is not all roses and blue skies and there are some people and circumstances that can hurt and damage. I have always been myself, I believe, with others, but often, I only share what I feel I should. I have created an invisible filter coming in and going out. That is why poetry is so powerful. It enables you to divulge who you are, but not completely.

I am inspired by nothing and everything. I have written about the most mundane act of human stupidity (the fact that one needs to go to the washroom once in a while, hopefully throughout his/her whole life - lol). I have also written of the most typically exciting and cliché moments of love, despair and drama. I have found that some of the blandest past photography can become incredibly strong 30 years later – have a look at Dennis Hopper’s photos as an example. Therefore, the mundane of today could very well enlighten the future. I was also amazed in my twenties at how French poets like Rimbaud, Prévert, Apolinaire and Éluard could speak of everyday events and make them so interesting… or how Verlaine, Beaudelaire and Neruda could make the cheese disappear when thinking of love, death and depression.

What finally really clicked the switch was when I began reading our own Acadian literature, how real it was and how it was part of our conflicted collective soul. In some ways, our Acadian identity was somewhat like I was: for many years, it could not, and preferred not to reveal all of what it was. Poetry in l’Acadie, is a code and an extremely important one at that.  

I am getting off subject aren’t I? Back to your next question. 

4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.

CB: Well… hmmm… I will share one that has shaped who I am. I had built a very badly strewn tree house near our home in Cormier-Village with leftover wood, planks, tar paper and rusted nails. I remember sitting there in the doorway looking at the water flowing in a nearby brook and the nature that surrounded me. It was the first time I really had a different perspective of the world, I guess, from a different height in something I had built with my bare two hands. Moral of the story is that my creation had enabled a new perspective of the same things I looked at everyday… I realized much later that the creative process was synonymous to youth and renewal.

 4Q: You have many fine paintings to your credit. How did you get into painting and where can your work be seen other than your website?

CB: The visual arts came naturally as a complement to writing… I am mostly visual in my concepts, but more literary in my communication… so I decided to use both as a survival guide to procrastination! When I find one creative process less motivating, I refer to the other… and they both meet rather often. For example, I am attempting to write a text for every painting I have produced (good or bad – lol). I’m hoping this will be a lifelong project.  

I have one exhibition per year at Galerie 12 in the Aberdeen Cultural Centre in downtown Moncton. This keeps my blood flowing...

 

Thank you Christian for sharing your thoughts with us. We look forward to more of your creativity in the future. Christian’s website is www.christianbrun.webs.com.
 


Rest in Peace Christian.

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