Well it seems a while ago but still very fresh in my mind. Today Hattie went back to school and Clara back to pre-school after their summer holidays and finally I get the chance to sit down and reflect some more on Arles and life in general.
I don't want to say too much more and share a few galleries of pictures instead.
Arles has a lot of bookshops - I love bookshops! Better still they are antique bookshops with boxes and shelves full up with old books, postcards and photographs - if you take the time to look you can find some real gems. I found an older book of a collection of W.Eugene Smiths work, a collection of prints in a folder from JD Marson and some old postcards. I could of spent the whole week in just one of the shops but had to limit myself on both time and purchases!
On the Thursday, my last full day, I decided to bite the bullet and buy an access ticket for the "offical" Les Rencontres d'Arles - they have 27 exhibitions in around the town. I was reluctant to buy a ticket as being a wheelchair user I was aware that I wouldn't be able to visit all the exhibitions and was trying to weigh up the price vs exhibitions - but when I went to buy a ticket I didn't need to worry or pay; tickets for disabled persons is FREE. I do think they need to shout about this more as I would of "bought" a ticket earlier in the week. They also had over 50% of the exhibitions accessible to wheelchair users and they were clearly marked on the map.
I spent all day Thursday to the early evening trying to get around all of them but failed. There were a couple of exhibitions that stood out for me; Zofia Kuliks photography and work is just amazing. Her exhibition was no.6 at Église des Trinitaires. Have a close look at her pictures in the gallery below; she works in the dark room to print these complex works.
The other exhibition that stood out for me was Chapelle du Museon Arlaten - Musee de Provence. There are pictures below, the exhibition space and use of light captured these photographs; they were a mixture of photographers with dates ranging from late 19th century onwards - amazing captures of a way of life that seems to have past
As the homepage of Les Rencontres d'Arles says:
"This exhibition presents a photographic history of the annual pilgrimage to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, during which Gitans, Manouches, Romani, and travelers from France and Europe honor Saint Sara. Despite prevailing hostilities and antigypsyism, the pilgrimage is a proven occasion for reunions, and an important space for social, religious, and artistic expression" (sourse: https://www.rencontres-arles.com/en/expositions/view/1478/light-of-saints 2023)
One final thing; Sophie Muret had her own exhibition at Galerie Karine Meyer throughout July. "Central Point" was an exhibition to remember. The black and white self-portraits are strong in there boldness and the use of colour and mix media lifted the balloon work and others to another level - these were my favourites.
Now I seemed to have rambled on anyway!
I will leave you with the picture gallery below and of course links at the end so that you can explore further - a final merci et à bientôt Sophie!
Gallery 1: Arles streets & architecture
Gallery 2: "Central Point" by Sophie Muret (Galerie Karine Meyer)
Gallery 3: (6) Église des Trinitaires - Zofia Kulik
Gallery 4: Other exhibitions
Gallery 5: Books...