It is hard to believe that the days can flash past so quickly, but I have spent four full days already here at Noyers sur Serein at La Porte Peinte for the first part of my artist residency. I flew to Paris and drove across a world of wondrously wide and luminously golden harvested cereal fields. La belle France! The home front finally has calmed a little, with health stable and so I was able to slip away to come here. The exciting events since I arrived – I hung my artwork as part of the overarching exhibit, Quotidiaen, here at the La Porte Peinte gallery. It is metalpoint work that I did as a result of my residency last year which I framed for exhibiting and brought with me. My part is entitled Les Pierres qui Chantent: Dessins en Pointe de Metal.
The other exciting news is that indeed I will be able to exhibit work that I am currently producing in the Noyers Museum in September. I am also preparing an informal talk about it all and about metalpoint in general for the Journées de la Patrimoine in September, when France’s wonderful patrimony is celebrated.
So thanks to all my generous friends who helped me reach the Hatchfund funding goal for this residency atLa Porte Peinte, I am organized!
Now, of course, has come the other aspect of this venture – producing artwork. I have been working hard, perched in my magical eerie above the cobbled main square in Noyers, with the sounds of French, mingled with laughter, that drift up to the open window. The delicious swallows are still flying ceaselessly, calling and swirling as they dart in to feed their babies in their beautiful mud nests attached to the medieval oak beams of the porches and roofs. As I am high up, I see the flash of their white rumps and black wings in their aerial ballet beneath me – the perfect accompaniment to metalpoint’s black and white.
I have just finished the third in the initial series of the project drawings – Burgundia – as Burgundy was named from Roman times onwards. I have tried to marry the main themes of the project together – fossilized shells, metalpoint, wine and the “horror vacui” of medieval manuscripts with their lettering in brilliant colour and details of nature covering each page. I managed to photograph one drawing – with complications – as normal scanners will not reproduce all the “whispered” lines in silver. The others will have to await my return home!
Step by step, line by line – what fun!