A quiet day at La Goelette, a charming eclectic cafe in Arichat, was the perfect place for a conversation with artist Devin Boudreau about his business, Heartistics Creations. Multifaceted is an apt description for both the artist and his art. Many of his creations are based on sacred geometry, and our discussion was refreshingly open, thought provoking, imaginative and a little quirky.
Devin is fascinated by the repeating geometric patterns found everywhere in the natural world — the blueprints of creation or Sacred Geometry. Like in many ancient cultures, he ascribes symbolic and sacred meaning to these shapes.These include the Fibonacci Sequence spiral patterns seen in certain shells, sunflowers, and galaxies. The human body contains the sacred proportions of the golden ratio as demonstrated in Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. More recently, the discovery of infinitely repeating fractal patterns by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot further reveals that nature is indeed governed by encoded geometric patterns suggesting the mind of intelligent creation.
Devin’s art is informed and inspired by in depth study of these principles that he initially encountered in the BBC documentary The Secret Life of Chaos. He observes, “This is in alignment with something deep that I have only touched the surface of.”
After time away at St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS and in Moncton, NB, Devin returned home to Isle Madame four years ago, drawn by the ocean and the quiet. In school he excelled at math and physics. At university he earned a degree in Human Kinetics but says, “I found myself through art…in some big ways” and firmly believes that “science and spirituality are coming together.”
Devin’s precision pieces include resin pyramids and twisted copper trees, as well as wooden geometric forms like dodecahedrons. He paints with acrylics and embellishes his pieces with sacred symbols. He also does spray paint art, wood carving and copper structures. And he explores other modes of expression like ecstatic dance and composing music on his handpan drum.
Something more than art
Egyptian and Mayan Pyramids hold a special fascination. He speculates that the ancient builders accomplished their seemingly impossible task by “infusing each and every brick with a spiritual quality that is heart led.” They were “committed to being of service to something greater than themselves.”
Although on a much smaller scale, “this being of service” to humanity is something Devin feels is important in his own work; that it is not just art, not just beautiful, but that it’s spiritually and psychologically, even physiologically, beneficial.
To embody this energy he chooses and researches his materials carefully. His cast resin pyramids might include metals like copper, brass or steel, various crystals like amethyst, stones like moss agate, metals like pyrite and other ores. This combination of materials encased in resin is known as Orgonite, healing because of alchemy between the metals and crystals in such a specific compressed shape.
The physical process starts with a mold turned upside down. “Sometimes I put the crystals or stones in first and then pour some resin, although most of the time I will pour a layer of resin and drop in the crystals or stones… as well as the metals. Everything is done in layers. There are usually a total of six to seven layers and each layer takes approximately six to eight hours to cure before I can work with the next one.”
These resin pyramids are popular items and generate a livelihood. Some people see them and say “I need that”, but he also does some commissions.
The value of flaws
Devin is always meticulous, but he once made a large pyramid that came out flawed. At a craft sale, though, reactions were positive. “Like it was quite, quite a moment,” he said. “It had cracks and crevices in it because the way it cured; (it) caused it to crack, but I learned that’s how it was meant to happen. Can’t control everything, that’s nature, right?.” It fetched $800 when he only valued it at $200.
He attributes this attitude to the popular television painting instructor, Bob Ross. ”He has been the best teacher that I ever had,” Devin says. “‘There are no mistakes, only happy little accidents’ is what he’d say.”
Shifting to copper
These days he’s shifting to just working with copper, mainly making tree sculptures and bracelets. It’s his favourite metal because it’s malleable and its conductivity is healing.The copper rings and bracelets are done in an exacting manner. “I love measurements. Measurements with this kind of thing are important,” he says. He measures down to the millimeter to make it “form the closed loop that has an energy or frequency to it.”
Avoiding “factory mode” production, Devin instead insists that, “Art is very much a meditation. I find that if you really get into it the way you should, that is what it becomes. Time disappears and ideas come and there you are with it.”
Devin says, “The guiding principle behind my art comes from the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Lloyd said, ‘Form follows function — that has always been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.’” Devin says he is always fine tuning the form versus function balance in his art. The challenge is to create pieces that are intricate and beautiful yet preserve their desired function.
Nature is also part of his process. “I’ve had my most wondrous experiences as a child being immersed in nature and sometimes I’m not sure if it was just because I was a child or if nature was just communicating with me.” Still seeking that connection now, he carves wood found in the firewood pile with a dremel tool seeking to liberate nature spirits that want to emerge, like the old man with the beard.
So, is he an artist or a holistic practitioner? “I definitely want to be more of service to people that are receptive to this kind of work as opposed to just making art,” he says. To that end he also has ambitions to become an art therapist, incorporating some of his ideas into that discipline.
Interview concluded, Devin offered to play his handpan drum. Music, too, is based on mathematical patterns. The tones fill the cafe.The melodies are beautiful, haunting, soothing and hypnotic, lifting the spirit, further demonstrating what this sacred geometry is all about.
You can find Devin’s art at Passage in Moncton, EnerQi in Sussex, Into the Mystic in Cole Harbour plus local markets and wellness fairs where he does very well.
Elaine Mandrona, in addition to being a writer, is a painter and sculptor. She moved to Cape Breton permanently in 2021.