Wednesday, 15 October 2008

12 October 2008 Sunday – Exposition, La Tour du Crieu

During the week, Pascal the young builder, gave me an A5 piece of paper which advertised an exhibition of art in the nearby village of La Tour du Crieu.
His mother is showing some of her sculpture and paintings there.
The weather is good, I look the place up on the Internet and set off. Taking my sat nav with me just in case.
Of course I come off the main road too early and get lost. I switch on the satnav. I am just over 3 km away. I follow the instructions down little roads until I get fed up and head for a landmark that I recognise, a big water tower near the Leclerc in Pamiers. At the main roundabout I find a sign that directs me to the village and seconds later I have parked up.
There was a big sign to advertise the exhibition as I drove into the village, then nothing. There is a street guide near to where I have parked. There is no “you are here” sign so I am none the wiser.
As I walk into the village centre two young ladies on bikes ask me where the Huit a huit shop is. For once this is an easy direction to give as I had parked just across the road from it.
I head towards the red brick church. There are scouts about, so perhaps they are having a special service today. I find the right street for the exhibition and enter the restored building where it is taking place.
Just inside the door is Madam C, the builder’s wife. She explains about her sculptures (clay, or argile in French) and about her paintings, most of which are influenced by a holiday they had in Madagascar? Her paintings are very colourful and the ones on display are mostly of whirling Tuareg dervishes.
The pottery / clay items on display vary from a two sided / two faced African style head to a large flat gargoyle which usually lives by her swimming pool.
Her work makes a nice contrast to the other works being exhibited.

This is the lady whom you may remember recorded my answerphone message for in French sometime in September

She is not part of the main exhibition, which consists mostly of paintings on silk and some glass/clay/acrylic jewellery, but was invited by the art association to exhibit her work there.
The exhibition is very interesting and I am given a list of the paintings on show, their price (if available for sale) and a slip of paper on which to list my top 3 paintings on exhibit in order of merit. They will then be able to give a prize to the exhibitor who gets the most votes.
There is one painting of an older gentleman with a full beard and a beret which glows with life. Mm C tells me a bit about the painting and says that the man in the picture might come in to the exhibition. Minutes later he does appear and he looks just like the painting. He is obviously a local character.
After just over an hour of looking round, I have cast my votes, chatted to a few people and been introduced to Mm C’s sister whose work is also on show.
I take some photos of Mm C and her work, then I walk around the village in the sunshine, taking more photos of the place.

It may only be a small place, but there is a dog grooming parlour, beauty salon, hair dresser, chemist, a temple?? , post office, 8 a 8 store and a bakers and a bar which are still doing business after 1pm. There are some other shops but I cannot remember what they were. You will just have to go and see for yourselves.
I mentioned the church earlier. Here is a photo of it.
Adjacent to it is another village square which has an invisible road running diagonally through it. (I won't mention the dog crap in evidence there)
Here the local "facilities" are housed in a wooden structure. There is a sitting down cubicle with a door and round the corner there is a rather more open air piece of porcelain for the men or for the adventurous women.
But this is not the main point. On the outside of the structure there is of course a post box to deal with your postal requirements! The French think of everything!
There are even rows of coat pegs on the outside.

Then it is back to the car and this time the journey back home is easy.

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