Earlier this year, Madeleine, from Château Barbebelle, asked me participate to the Art et Vin 2021 edition.
“Artists are invited to express themselves on the “Sharing Lines” and environment through an essential element: water! The water divide geographical a territory into several watersheds. The story can be told differently: the drops make the rivers, the creativity of the artist is expressed in his works, same for the winemaker with his wine, precious result of his work, and a set of environmental factors.”
At first glance, these sentences seemed very mysterious to me! I then imagined a water that rushes down a slope. The sense of sharing became obvious to me: it was possible according to a natural element : gravity. Water comes from the seas and oceans, forming the clouds that reach the peaks of the mountains. These clouds, like immense vaporous hands, open and distribute life…
In the middle of this cycle, our activities.
Art and wine are part of it.
I’m an outside painter. Heir of Barbizon’s painters or Aix’s school, leaders Corot and Cézanne paved the way for impressionism and modern painting. I have always felt friend with the landscape, by a kind of humility, subservient to it, like the farmer.
Before I put my easel in the ground, like the winemaker planting their vines, I take care to be on the right direction of the sun and the wind. (Environmental factors).
My painting, like wine, needs the soil to draw “a kind of energy.”
To honor the theme of this exhibition I chose to exhibit landscapes of the region. I added the paintings made in Barbebelle in early spring. I also wanted to be represented the cafes, these places of conviviality and sharing that we have missed so much lately… but that’s not all.
The drops make the rivers…
If Madeleine invited me to this exhibition it is thanks to Susan and Towny, long-time friends, who came especially from the United States for the event.
20 years ago, Towny and Susan opened the doors of our studio-gallery in Lourmarin for the first time, accompanied by their only daughter Alexandra.
They loved the area so much that they bought a house. They put Alex in the village school to teach her French. They spent a year with their family in Provence, and the three of them never stopped coming back, visiting us at each of their stays.
Alex drew cats. She made short comics with a wonderful naivety. Her need for expression was overflowing. She became a young woman full of creativity, filled with beauty and kindness.
Unfortunately… we lost her at the most beautiful age of life.
We all want to act against fate… Find a light to get out of the darkness. With a lot of love and courage, the miracle can be accomplished… This is what Susan and Towny succeeded in:
Alex became a symbol of the fight against the PANDAS, the disease that took her away.
The wine label on the bottle of Château Barbebelle represents her walking in the middle of Lourmarin’s street and cafés ….
Susan will tell the story better than I do... Thank you to them for being here with us this evening. The light «Alex» enlightens us prodigiously.
Christine joins me thanking Madeleine and Valentin the owners of Château Barbebelle, Paule and Chantal their assistants for welcoming us to their cellar with such kindness. I also think about the men and women of the fields, all the seasons and in all times they take care of the vines and use the natural clock: the Shepherd’s Star.
On this opening day my happiness is multiplied by the presence of many friends, my family, art and wine lovers, these “lines of sharing” that seemed so mysterious to me are clearly drawn in my head, like a musical score! Let’s release the notes of friendship and love, let’s blow the corks and tinkle our glasses! Tchin-tchin to all !