birds
By Hugues Tisseyre

There’s a charming little gallery on rue de Verdun, the main drag of la Bastide in Carcassonne. Formerly a church, it hosts a diverse range of exhibits.

 

church-steeple

The doors were open, so we popped in.

church-doorThe paintings made me think a little of Chagall, but also of Cézanne, but then another was a little more Pissarro, and a few had hints of Picasso. But I’m no an art expert. Just a museum nut.

carnaval-blueThere were quite a few dedicated to the Carnival of Limoux, a town just south of Carcassonne. And several around tauromachie, or bull-fighting, which happens in Carcassonne and several other towns around the south of France.

seatedWe were delighted to discover that the man tending the desk was the painter himself. He explained that he indeed admired all those artists, and learned how to paint, as many artists do, by copying their great works before establishing his own style.

But he can explain himself:

painter-message

For the love of painting

Because the hand of the painter is the eye of his heart, the extension of his soul, because the hairs of his brush are the thread that connects the spirit to the material, Hugues Tisseyre paints, he paints his Carnival and all the things he loves.

The Carnival of Limoux, mystical and lyrical, which goes farther than anecdote, farther than the figurative, is the instant magnified by the play of the human comedy deliberately consenting and not submissive to the truth of the mask and its possibilities of transformation of the obvious fatality.

Painting in fact must not progress except in the mind of the senses.

crowd-phantom

He said he was from Limoux and always loved its Carnival, the world’s longest. Here are his thoughts on that:

carnaval-messageThe carnival festival has behind it a long history, which we perceive through texts.

Often a drawing, a painting, an engraving suffices to explain all that to us.

Modern history since 1945 to today marks its limits. Carnival thus ferments, resists, transforms itself according to society’s solicitations. It shows all its capacity for dialogue, renewal, ironic rejection, refual, to reserve the identity which defines a common man’s living culture.

This festival which fascinates and questions is indeed the place that holds the imaginary, memory and writing.

minerveI asked about a huge painting on the ground. “The city of Minerve,” he said. Minerve is one of the most beautiful villages of France–an official designation!–about 45 kilometers northeast of Carcassonne.

I almost fainted when he walked right onto the painting.

hugues

“Oh, it’s very tough,” he said. “If you only knew how many layers of paint there are.”

He explained that one day he got hold of a big roll of moquette, or carpet, and thought the nap would make an interesting base for painting. And the price was right. Though that very nap ate up his brushes, which in turn cost a fortune, he added.

Unfortunately, Minerve was out of our budget. Perhaps one day.taureau

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11 thoughts on “For the Love of Painting

  1. Crazy, I photgraphed that old building when they were setting up for that exhibition , but we had to leave before we had chance to see it.

    I agree entirely with all his sentiments.
    My friend wants to fill her big salon with carnival paintings, I’ll pass his name on.
    Have you seen the carnival murals on the buildings on the right coming into Limoux from the Flassian end? They are incredible and I take my artist’s hat of to whoever did them. Peerless work

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello,

    I saw your comments on smittenkitchen’s site and would love your restaurant recommendations for France! For Paris as well as the Carcassonne region if it’s not too much trouble please, I’ve been to Paris a couple of times but really want to explore more of France soon.

    Like

  3. Sorry another late comment! I often think we miss what’s under our own noses sometimes such as galleries or exhibitions like this one. Often you can go back to see things you’ve been thinking about, or even take out an annual visit subscription. This year we have visited galleries in Paris, Prague, Bruges, Malaga, Marbella, Madrid…… but I recently wrote about two close by our home we now just keep revisiting. The Steam Museum in Swindon, and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Both fantastic. So, keep looking close to home!

    Liked by 1 person

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