VERNISSAGE APRIL 30th 2016
A vernissage is literally a varnishing. The word dates back to the days when painters varnished their paintings, meaning they could no longer go on making small changes. Nowadays it means a private view, which in turn is more accurately known as a launch party, or at least, a few drinks and some nibbles.
Secret Life of Chairs. It's always a good idea to get the local worthies and dignitaries on your side: the man on the right is the mayor. We hung 35 of this series of my pictures, and 14 of Frances's from Abbatu par Sort, perhaps best translated as "Destroyed by Fate" but itself a translation from the Anglo-Saxon wyrde gebræcon. Unfortunately we neglected to scan her pictures before we framed them, except the one below.
This vernissage, our most recent, was at 11:30 in the morning of Saturday, April 30th 2016. The slightly
unusual timing was because the next day was Mayday and the village would
be host to hundreds, or probably thousands, of visitors for the annual
vide grenier (if you want to know more about vide-greniers, check here)
and it would hardly do to have the vernissage after that. As it turned
out, we got 157 visitors to the exhibition on that Sunday alone.
One of the great things about rural France is its strong support for the arts, with exhibitions and concerts and dance festivals and much, much more, and this was the second year in a row that we'd had an exhibition at the local Tourist Office. The first time we were invited, with plenty of notice. The second time, as there had been no publicity, we asked what they had planned. It turned out they hadn't, so they were very happy to have a more or less ready-made exhibition dropped in their laps. Both years, the Commune (the local association of villages) paid for the vernissage, but the short notice explained why we hung the pictures on Thursday and had the vernissage on the Saturday morning: Frances hadn't even finished all her pictures when they had said "Yes" a couple of weeks before.