My art residency is drawing to a close, I have a couple more days but will be busy with some catching up with my daughter and spending a night in St Rémy before travelling back to Paris and then home. The past week has been inspiring, particularly now I have another artist working in the next door studio, Jan Dunlop from Noosa – (have a look at her website) and it has been great to share ideas, get inspiration, spit the dummy and to encourage each other! Jan’s husband, Jim is also along and he has been the driver and supporter and we all have a drink at the end of the day and review progress.
I was lucky enough to be able to go to an enormous art supply shop in Noves, do some grocery shopping and have a coffee with my new friends early this week. The Pallette d’Art shop has more than enough in art supplies to inspire any art residency participant – unfortunately space and travelling home meant that I couldn’t fit anything big into my luggage, but I was dying to get hold of the huge canvases.
Never-the-less, I have managed to put together a body of work that I am quite pleased to show. Just as well, because I did my ‘show and tell’ yesterday evening for the audience of Vianney, Jeanne, Ursula and Jan! All thoroughly experienced and critical artists, so there was a slight nervous feeling beforehand. With Jan’s help I managed to curate my show using old canvas stretcher bars in place of frames and easels and bulldog clips to get the drawings on display.
I took as my theme ‘Je suis ici’ – I am here – and tried to express my sense of this place with all it’s history, geography and botanical wonder. So, I presented the mountains, rocks and ruins; the plants – flowers and trees, and the village of Aureille. The audience was very supportive and made some really useful comments and putting the whole thing together made a nice ‘closure’ and sense that I had achieved something of a new and simplified outlook on my work.
experience was to be taken by Vianney, along with Jan and Jim into a valley which is quite beautiful in its own right, with sheer cliffs of limestone and wonderful views of the surrounding countryside once you get to the top (possible to do by non-sheer pathways!), but also has ruins of Roman walls, houses and temples built across the valley in the 5th century BC – so amazing to imagine that Romans posted sentries on these cliffs and conducted business in the town below.
As a special sweetener, I was also emailed that day that my entry to the Border Prize http://artgallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au/PrizesAndAwards/BorderArtPrize has been selected for hanging. The opening is on Friday 6th may, so should just make it home in time!