30 June 2017
28 June 2017
Artiste au service de la paix
À toi, tout l'amour du monde
Paix, Shalom, Salam'
Sara Alexander was an Israelien singer and a writer of poetry who grew up in a kibbutz. She is seen as a kind of cultural ambassador between Israel and Palestine. She lived in France, and died in Nice.
The writer Jean-Paul Clébert (1926–2011) is perhaps best known for his book Paris Insolite (1952) about his life as a tramp in Paris. Later, however, he moved to Provence and wrote many books about the area. He died in Oppède, where he was living, and is buried in Bonnieux, where he had previously lived. My quite long review of Paris Insolite is here .
Samten Dzong (meaning something like 'residence of reflexion') was Alexandra David Néel's name for her property in Digne, where she died, and where her secretary Marie-Madeleine Peyronnet spent the last ten years of the author's life with her, writing a book about them.
'À LA MÉMOIRE D'ALEXANDRA DAVID-NÉEL
EXPLORATRICE DU TIBET
ET DE SON FILS ADOPTIF ET FIDÈLE COMPANION DE VOYAGE
LE LAMA TIBÉTAIN YONGDEN
TOUS DEUX DÉCÉDÉS ICI ET DONATEURS DE CETTE RÉSIDENCE'
'MAISONS DES ILLUSTRES
A VÉCU UNE TRENTAINE
D'ANNÉES DANS CETTE MAISON
AVEC SON FILS ADOPTIF
LE LAMA YONGDEN'
Alexandra David-Néel was of French and Belgian nationality, born of a French anarchist father and a Belgian Catholic mother. She too was an anarchist, an opera singer in her youth, a noted Tibetologist (being the first European to penetrate the forbidden city Llasa (disguised as a beggar), an explorer, a feminist, a writer, and a Buddhist. Aphur Yongden, who was a lama, was her adopted son who died in 1955: as David-Néel bought the house in 1928 and they both spent about seven years in China in the 1930s, the suggestion above that Yongden spent about thirty years here is obviously wrong: about twenty, yes.
A building close to the house contains nothing original to the period of Alexandra David-Néel's travels, but reconstructions of things around her life, and of Tibetan life. Above is a reconstruction of the kind of tent she camped in on her travels.
The decorative Tchonga-Tchöpas (lit. 'new moon offerings') are made with the female yak's butter. These offerings are made at the beginning of the Tibetan new year, with the new moon in February. For conservation, the models here are made with vegetable margarine and paraffin, and the colouring is with oil paint.
Included in the representation is Alexander David-Néel.
And 'La Tortue', or turtle, Peyronnet's nickname after finding a ball of material on the stairs!
A representation of Tcham dancers, dating back to the eighteenth century.
The mandala (or circle) is used as a basis of transmission to higher levels of Tibetan Buddhism. It represents a pathway to the ultimate awakening. When the master of meditation has passed on this knowledge, the useless base (of sand) is destroyed either by water or wind.
'A vrai dire, j'ai le "mal du pays" pour un pays qui n'est pas le mien. Les steppes, les solitudes, les neiges éternelles et le grand ciel clair de “là haut[”] me hantent !... Pays qui semble appartenir à un autre monde, pays de titans ou de Dieux. Je reste ensorcelée'
My translation: 'To be honest, I'm homesick for a country that isn't my own. The Steppes, the periods of solitude, the neverending snows and the huge clear sky from "up above" haunt me! A country that appears to be another world, a land of Titans or of Gods. I remain bewitched.
Alexandra David-Neel' [sic]
Alexandra David-Néel dressed as a beggar.
27 June 2017
Léopold Truc is something of a mystery. He is said to have been an agriculturalist born in Cabrières d'Avignon in 1912, although the date of his death is uncertain. It's also uncertain if this (very difficult to find) place is still visitable, as the bureau de tourisme was closed on our visit. Internet posts give conflicting accounts of its (non-)visitability, although it is clear that some people have (illegally) invited themselves onto the land to take photos. Clearly there is much more to be seen here than from an outside view, although I only took my photos from the gravel path outside. Léopold Truc called his creation 'Paradis', although the first letter is almost non-existent. Facteur Cheval's Palais Idéal this certainly isn't, but it's fascinating all the same:
My other Outsider Art (or related) posts:
Le Musée Extraordinaire de Georges Mazoyer, Ansouis
Le Facteur Cheval's Palais Idéal, Hauterives
The Art of Theodore Major
Kevin Duffy, Ashton-in-Makerfield
26 June 2017
25 June 2017
Conservateur en Chef du patrimone,
Maître d'œuvre du Félibrige, 1914–2004'
Among Jean Boyer's publications are L'Architecture religieuse de l'époque classique à Aix-en-Provence (1972) and Architecture et urbanisme à Aix-en-Provence aux XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles du cours à carrosses au cours Mirabeau (2004).