Whilst in the market this morning we happened across Gerard Thélier, a great aficionado of Cluny with a big personality. Originally from St-Cloud, Gerard Thélier travelled the world before coming to settle in Cluny. He has worked as a documentary film maker, photographer and artist, and has written several books on the abolition of slavery and the history of Cluny, notably C’était hier Cluny. Now retired, he organises cultural and historical events and is a consultant for heritage exhibitions.
Gerard is going to be very busy all summer as he is conducting tours around medieval Cluny most Monday and Saturday afternoons at 1.30pm. He will not be hard to spot as he will be dressed as a knight of the 11th century.
He is also leading tours by torchlight around the nearby Clunisoise villages. It will be the turn of Cortambert on 3rd July and 25th August, 8.45pm to 10.15pm. The times and dates of all the walks can be found on the Cluny tourism website www.cluny-tourisme.com.
Also new this year, you can hire a tablet from the Office of Tourism or just download the app that leads you on a tour round medieval Cluny. Call me old fashioned but I would much prefer to go with Gerard! He has such an engaging personality that I am sure his guided walks will be amazing.
We’ve started preparing for the Randonnée des Roses which is to be held on Sunday 2nd June. There will be three routes of 8.7km, 15km and 25km which start from the foyer rural in Cortambert and head towards Donzy.
The men prepare the panneaux.....
Today’s jobs included preparing a couple of colourful doors that had been decorated for the Cluny 2010 celebrations. They are to be erected at each end of the commune in order to display information about future events, including the Randonnée des Roses. In addition we took all the direction posts out of storage and while the men did the woodworking the ladies were busy decorating them with roses.
while the ladies paint roses
The only thing we need now is to organise some good weather. But whether the weather be good or whether the weather be bad you can be guaranteed good company, excellent refreshments and some stunning views over the countryside.
We’ve had a wonderful day in Lyon. Pascale organised an outing and a group of us from Cortambert and Donzy were more than happy to take up the invitation. I think she must have organised the weather too as we enjoyed a cloudless day with warm sunshine.
When I get the chance I’ll describe what we did; the tour of the murals, the lunch at a typical Lyonnaise bouchon where we had silkworkers’ brains, the guided tour through the traboules……
But just for now I’ll talk about the Mur des Canuts, the most impressive mural ever, the biggest trompe-l’oeil in Europe. It was painted in 1987, the first commission for the artists’ cooperative Cité de la Création..
There was an ugly building on the Boulevard des Canuts and the owner wanted to improve the look of it while displaying adverts for his business. The artists decided to paint a scene typical of the area, the Croix Rousse, which was the centre for the silk industry in the 19th century. It is extraordinarily difficult to believe that you are looking at a flat wall!
And here we all are. Don’t you think we are as pretty as a picture ourselves?
I am constantly amazed by the wealth of talent of our neighbours. Tonight we attended a vernissage at the Salle Victor Duruy in Cluny where two local artists are exhibiting until 2nd April. They are the painter Bernard Golly (Bégé) of Bray and the sculptor Guy Forge of Cortambert. Both artists have a very distinctive style.
Bernard’s paintings are very colourful and stylistic with simple figures that remind us a little of the outsider art of Johé Gormand, another close neighbour (www.cormatin.eu/blog/?p=2044). Or Picasso on one of his good days. Guy has a passion for using driftwood, shells and objets trouvés to dramatic effect.
Guy with one of his scuptures, playing the fool as usual!
We are going back to have another look tomorrow. The exhibition goes on until Tuesday. Bernard advises us to chose some paintings before he becomes even more famous and the price of his work goes up. I think we might take him up on that!
postscript : We went back on Saturday morning and we bought the painting on the poster above (L’Arche) and two more. You will see them when you visit La Maison du Curé.
For Bernard’s website see bege60.blogspot.fr/