While in the South, I was lucky enough to meet rather an extraordinary French lady, living in an 18th century château, ... with an art gallery in her garden.
Sabine Puget is passionate about art and the importance of art in everyday life. When she and her husband bought their château some years back, she was brave enough to create a gallery and open its doors to the public.
She quickly ran out of space, but boldly created extra display areas around the gallery, stark modern shapes, that fit into her breathtaking property effortlessly, and whose brick red colour echoes the beautiful patina on the château walls.
The gallery is open from May to September, and she creates two exhibitions each season. I was fascinated to visit the current show, which combines and juxtaposes the work of two artists: a photographer who likes to shoot pictures of old catalogues of plant collections, and a sculptor who is passionate about granite, marble and stone.
All through the show, sculptures, large and small, echo the beautiful black and white photos on the walls.
To add interest to the already breathtaking sculptures, they are created to move and to turn upon themselves.
The garden around the gallery and the house is carefully planted to emphasise the presence of the gallery. Walking around the grounds, this visitor sometimes gasped at the beauty of an unexpected artwork, whose silver grey wood or subtle stone, reflects the soft Provençal light.
In a corner of the garden is a tiny chapel, long since abandoned when Sabine and her husband bought the property. It is now restored with evocative paintings on the wall and unique stained glass windows, and has become the subject of a small book.
So if you find yourself in the south of France this summer, and you would like to visit Sabine's gallery, simply contact her or turn up on a sunny summer afternoon and refresh your body and mind as you breathe in the utter beauty of her property and the art she cares to show.