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Saturday, 17 November 2012

Boulogne sur mer: contemporary and historic art

Today I've been on our annual parish day trip to France. This year, after going to Cité Europe, we visited Boulogne-sur-mer.

On the way up the hill from the port to the Old Town I saw an excellent exhibition at the Galerie Premières Toiles. Pierre LeBlanc's 'A Broken/Damaged History …' is a series made up of 38 diptychs through which he maps a society where motionless men and women seem prisoners of their own picturing. LeBlanc says he is looking to expose the shortcomings/failures of our ways of life. Monch disfigures driftwood and selfportraits to create photographs and digital art of anguish and angst. Dadave creates sculptures - towers, flags etc - from recycled electrical materials.

The Old Town nestles inside mighty ramparts built at the beginning of the 13th century by the Count of Boulogne on the foundations of the Gallo-Roman walls. A pathway round the ramparts makes a delightful walk affording lovely views over the whole town and a glimpse of the flower gardens at the foot of the walls.

The Basilica of Notre Dame was erected between 1827 and 1866 by Father Haffreingue on the ruins of the ancient cathedral which has been destroyed after the French revolution. The design of this colossal edifice with its 101 meter high dome was inspired by St Paul's cathedral, St Peter's in Rome, as well as the Pantheon and Les Invalides in Paris.

Outside the Town Hall is a sculpture garden which seems to have work from or linked to the Pompidou Centre, possibly related to the earlier visit of the Mobile Pompidou Centre and an associated Sculpture Trail.


Madeleine Peyroux - The Things I've Seen Today.

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