It wasn’t until the last week at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue that I discovered some real art gems.
The church Notre Dame des Anges – Our Lady of Angels – dominates the central place of the town. Its bells chime the hours, and during the markets on Sunday morning the faithful attend church before shopping or having lunch. At other times the main door seemed was always closed. But the morning Kris and I were walking past, a side door was open, and what we discovered blew us away!
Honouring its name, the church celebrates angels in wonderful 17th century Baroque style. Ultramarine blue backgrounds and with golden sculpted angels, great paintings and sculptures, beautifully crafted panelling and decorative carving… We found it is probably the richest church, and certainly most ornate in the Vaucluse – perhaps owing to its wealthy past in cloth production.
The Ear is lying in the bed of a branch of the Sorgue by a footbridge. Perhaps because it is under the water some feel compelled to throw coins into it. I’ve tried hard to find out who the artist, W Mangold, is (he donated it to the town), but have been unable to find out anything about him, or any more about this sculpture. So if you know anything, I’d love to hear!!
Campredon Centre D’Art is the contemporary art gallery in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, but it can be easily missed. I didn’t discover until the last afternoon before we left! It is at the back of the town across the street from another branch of the Sorgue, but it is not well signed. The street side is closed and you kind of have to follow a couple of ‘blind’ alleyways before entering a large, elegant courtyard through which you enter the gallery building itself.
Catherine Noury’s, Histoires naturelles , (natural history) were on exhibition that afternoon – entirely appropriate for spring. Catherine Noury works and lives in Paris where she is represented by Galerie Sitdown. She originally studied literature and linguistics but became a photographer in 1989. Then in 2004, she began exploring the use of stitching in conjunction with her photography and now works with fabric, thread and embroidery as well to exploring both these mediums and nature. Her work is truly exquisite.
A new artist to me, she works with fabric and embroidery crafting beautiful and romantic works that also celebrate these traditionally feminine media. She builds delicate 3D pieces inspired by the forms in nature, from embroidery thread, playing with texture, transparency and overlays, and using dyes and paint and sometimes photography.
A French review refers to her as ‘a modern day Penelope, who weaves her precious and art objects with delicacy and patience… the objects holding within them the subtle traces of passing time.’ And Catherine herself says she creates works that have a parenthesis with time and the evolution of the natural growth in nature. ‘I make some moments which represent 200 hours of work… like a salmon going up a thread of water.’