Monday, July 15, 2013

The art of Nantes

In Nantes last week for a commissioned piece and some research of my own, as the city and the Loire will figure in the River chapter of my book. I took three trips on the water, the best being a three hour journey to St-Nazaire stopping at various works of art that are part of the Estuaire creative project. Nantes never does things by halves, and this is an extravaganza by any standards, from the house half-submerged in the river to a huge serpent on an estuary beach.

The city itself is full of visual jokes - like the 'grey men' of bureaucracy - and surprises, many with light effects designed to be viewed after dark, like the Nymphea by Corsican artist Ange Leccia. A permanent fun piece on the 32nd storey of the Tour de Bretagne 70s tower block is Le Nid, where the eponymous nest is a bar and the elongated white bird encloses broken egg tables and stools.
Nantes is a dynamic place at any time of year, but it's positively sizzling in this July heat. I came home exhausted, overloaded with art and ideas. Good excuse for a rare day off work today.


Nanung Nur Zula said...

I like the grey man

WM said...

Thanks for your comment. There was another piece, a fake building site with half buried structures and several hundred little grey men stuck in the mud ....