Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Photography Festival in La Gacilly, Brittany

La Gacilly is where Yves Rocher was born and grew up. A local healer taught him a recipe for an ointment based on the lesser celandine flower. He decided to sell the ointment by mail order with adverts in the magazine 'Ici Paris'. Down by the river in La Gacilly the Yves Rocher organisation have a lovely restaurant and shop selling their products and just outside the town they have a botanical garden - Le Jardin Botanique Yves Rocher de la Gacilly which is open to the public without charge.
Wandering into La Gacilly my attention was drawn to the exterior of the local pharmacy with its hand painted wooden panelling showing its added specialisation in Herbalism and Homoeopathy.
The photographs in the festival were scattered all around the town - these are some of Karl Lagerfeld's. He says "photography is an important part of my life. It completes the circle of both my artistic and professional interests. I can't imagine life without this vision. I see the world and fashion through the lens. This gives my work a critical detachment and helps me more than I can say. I am not at all interested in my own past, but I have the strange impression that my success in the fashion world has intensified since I started to take photos."
Claudia Schiffer on the beach at Deauville, Normandy, photographed by Karl Lagerfeld 
Lovely black and white photographs by Jacques Henri Lartigue from the Edwardian period.
More photographs displayed in le jardin potager
where I experienced artichoke envy - ours are only a quarter the size of these.
The final post on France follows later this week

56 comments:

  1. Another really interesting and attractive town, Rosemary. I for one had no idea Karl Lagerfield was a photographic artist - the Schiffer photograph is most intriguing, and the Edwardian lady is a great image, very attractive. The painted panelling on the pharmacy is so much nicer than the usual advertising found on a shop-front!

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    1. Dear Patricia - because I like botanical prints and illustrations, I thought that the paintings outside the Chemists Shop were charming. They appeared to have been done many years ago, and I was surprised at how well they had withstood being exposed to the weather.

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  2. A very interesting post! I'm fascinated with the snake emblem for medicine / dentistry or pharmacy. Black and white photography has its own unique beauty and charm.

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    1. There are several different snake symbols used - this particular one show the snake wound around a staff called the Caduceus. The staff, depicted with wings is that of Mercury (Roman) or Hermes (Greek) messenger of the Gods and also God of Commerce. In the West it has been adopted as a symbol of medicine/pharmacy since the 19th century. A two snake staff usually represents medicine and a one snake staff pharmacy.
      I agree there is something rather special about black and white photographs.

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    2. Hi Rosemary, thanks for the info. Actually Im rather familar with the Caduceus as I belong to one of the professions. The snakes actually represent guinea worms infestation (dracunculiasis) which require a stick (olden times) to twirl it out from the body, usually the legs or feet. And these worms can be very long - 2 to 3 feet long! It can be very painful, when the worm try to burrow out from the skin. Thank goodness, we don't see much of it now, with health education and promotion. Anyway, so kind of you to explain and to share. Your posts are truly interesting.

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    3. Thanks Stiletto for that extra interesting information.

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  3. All of the towns you have shown us have been so well tended and beautifully decked with flowers. There must be a great deal of pride in the heritage. Justifiably so.
    Crikey, I don't know where I would put an artichoke quite that large!

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    1. The municipal gardeners in France really do make their towns look splendid. All the pots and troughs are well cared for and very colourful. Peoples gardens are much simpler than ours, they go more for le potager than swathes of flowers.
      Their artichokes were very large, just wish mine could be a little bit bigger, the artichokes I have at the moment look like golf balls!!!

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  4. Hello Rosemary,
    excellent post!
    Very beautiful pictures
    A hug

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    1. Hello Antonio - La Gacilly is a beautiful little French town and I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing it.

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  5. How interesting and impressive to have Kaiser Karl's (as he is known in the fashion world) photographs at this festival in La Gacilly! At one time in the 90s, he designed all the clothing and photographed all the campaigns for Chanel, Chloe, Fendi, and Karl Lagerfeld!! Will have to visit the botanical garden.
    x Loi

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    1. Hi Loi - you are obviously much more knowledgeable about the world of fashion than I am - thanks for that information.

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  6. Such a fascinating post...and lovely photos. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for your visit Linda and also for your very kind comment which I appreciate.

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    2. Dear Rosemary,what an interesting post!
      A beautiful town that you visit!
      Wonderful photos as always!!!
      Thank you for sharing!!!
      Dimi...

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    3. Lots of interesting things to see and do in the pretty little town of Gacilly Dimi. If I was to return then I should like to visit the Yves Rocher Botanical Gardens.

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  7. oh that seems to have been another exciting travel dear Rosemary!
    what a beautiful place
    I particularly like the illustrations of the pharmacie
    and I always think that exhibitions on the outside have something special
    art being a part of nature, of the surrounding.

    We have been a few days in Lillehammer where a fun park full of Trolls is. Lots of good time with family AND good weather!

    see you soon again : )

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    1. Dear Demie - it was interesting to stroll around so much of the town and gardens and see the art festival. The photographs had of course been specially treated as the exhibition continues for quite a few more weeks.
      I wondered where you had been in Norway, it looks as if you had a lovely child friendly time. The only thing I know about Lillehammer is that the winter Olympics were held there once.
      Lovely to see you back, and so pleased that you have had a lovely holiday.

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  8. Beautiful photographs and I love the painted panelling, though I tend to agree with this rather cynical American rhyme, circa 1900, that I read the other day:

    Stir the mixture well
    Lest it prove inferior
    Then put half a drop
    into Lake Superior.

    Every other day
    Take a drop in water.
    You'll be better soon,
    Or at least you oughter.

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    1. Thanks for the great rhyme Nilly - sounds like a good placebo.
      I was really charmed by the paintings, looked on the internet to see if could find anything at all about them, and all I found were my own photos!!! It seems that I am the only person to visit Gacilly who finds them interesting.

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  9. Dear Rosemary,

    This looks like a perfectly lovely day, and I'm guessing that it is the custom in La Gacilly for every homeowner to begin the day by sweeping in front of their house. The place is immaculate!

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    1. Small French towns do seem to be very well kept - there are always lots of flowers on the bridges, roundabouts, and roads leading into and out of the towns.

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  10. Have just been catching up on your last few posts - fabulous photos. Love the montage of the timber buildings.
    June

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    1. Thank you June - I will have another go a a montage, they are good fun to do.

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  11. All photos are delightful and different for me. I do like your capture in the 'circle' you made :)

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    1. It was a very photogenic place to visit, and delightful to wander around - thank you

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  12. Are you still in France?So exciting Rosemary, I'm so envious...Never heard about La Gacilly but of course I know the products of Yves Rocher and how they are appreciated in France and not only...So interesting this festival, I would like to be there. And the lovely photos you always show us...

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    1. I am home now Olympia and have been for over a week. Apparently La Gacilly have a photography festival every summer for several weeks which is free, and you can just wander around the town and gardens viewing them at your leisure.

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  13. This looks like a charming place, Rosemary, with greenery everywhere in the cobbled streets adding to the picture postcard appeal and a good place to hold a photography festival in such a creative way!

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    1. It was a very nicely kept town with lots of interest there and delicious homemade icecream at Yves Rocher - are you in Italy?

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    2. We're now back from Italy, Rosemary. We had the opportunity to go before the school Summer holiday starts, but we hope to be back in Italy during early October.

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    3. October in Italy sounds perfect.

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  14. This is a wonderful town to explore. I am familiar with Yves Rocher. Must be nice to the shop and cafe. I also admire Karl Lagerfeld's photographs. He is such a multi-talented man. Love his Chanel designs too. Have a good day Rosemary.

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    1. Thanks Pamela - the homemade icecream from Yves Rocher was particularly delicious.

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  15. This looks a very charming town; the streets look quiet and well cared for and I love the greenery everywhere. The photographs are interesting, too; especially the fascinating glimpses into the Edwardian age.

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    1. There is something rather nostalgic and special about black and white photos. When I use black and white with my digital camera for some reason they don't work to the extent that the old photos do. I must try harder with them. Most of the medieval towns we visited were very nicely kept with lots of flowers.

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  16. Dear Rosemary,
    I loved seeing those paintings from the apothecary-- how wonderful! And although I think it's fascinating to have a photography exhibit in the gardens of this beautiful town, I wonder how visitors were able to focus on the images when they were surrounded by such beauty--an embarrassment of riches!! Your pictures and collages are wonderful as always!
    Warm regards,
    Erika

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    1. Dear Erika - the small town of La Gacilly holds a photography Festival every summer - I believe it is one of towns yearly highlights.
      The paintings outside the chemists were delightful. They must have been there for years but had withstood the weather really well. I would love to have been able to find out more about them, but could find nothing on the internet at all.

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  17. What a delightful collection of photos. I had never wondered how big houses like Yves Rocher began......
    I have always loved the Lartigue photograph of the lady with the dogs. To me that is just so "Paris". I sometimes think Paris should have stayed in that period :)

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    1. Dear Jenny - it is interesting that such a large scale organisation started with a pot of ointment.
      I would love to be a fly on the wall and see Paris as it was then.

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  18. WOW!!!
    That is such a cool fountain. I sometimes still wish that color cameras didn't exist and there are only black and white ones.
    From Bea Cupcake

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    1. Hi Bea - when you see really lovely black and white photos like the two shown you realise just how special they can be.

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  19. I have never seen such a strange picture of Claudia Shiffer.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. Dear Filip - I think that its called artistic license!!!

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  20. What a beautiful part of France Rosemary,
    The story of Rocher and your images are outstanding.
    I love black and white photos.. great photos by Henri Lartigue. I have never seen his photos.
    The cobbled streets of the village, remined me of our cobbled streets here.
    France is indeed a rich cultural country.
    lovely post Rosemary..
    val xx

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    1. Dear Val - it is very interesting to think back to the days when Yves Rocher started out in business with his small pots of ointment and then compare it with the hugely successful organisation it is today.
      Good black and white photographs certainly have some magic about them.

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  21. Dear Rosemary, I was immediately drawn to the hand painted flora and fauna. Beautifully painted. They are so much easier to paint than portraits.
    What an interesting and brilliant fellow Karl Lagerfeld is. Have always admired him. I love watching him, eccentric and wonderful.

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    1. I loved the botanical illustrations and was really surprised at the condition of them. To be outside for many, many years I imagined would have had a detrimental affect on them, but they mostly appeared to have weathered really well.

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  22. Beautiful photos of a beautiful place. I'm looking forward to your next post.

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    1. I shall post it tomorrow Paula and hope you enjoy it - thank you.

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  23. How beautiful - just the sort of place I love to visit - I'd have looked at every photograph and read every description. What a lovely place for a holiday.

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    1. Some lovely subjects had been picked for the photos. One lady had photographed cows in different European countries - it was interesting how different their faces and bodies were - some looked gentle others looked quite agressive. Another featured polar bears, and there were some gorgeous pictures of tribal people living their lives in the wilds of Afghanistan.

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  24. Wonderful post Rosemary and filled with so many beautiful photos.

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    1. Thanks Patricia - looking forward to seeing photos from your trip too.

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  25. What fun, Rosemary. I love the way art and culture seem to be so much more part of community life in France than is often the case in the UK, even in very small towns.

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    1. I wonder if we may have lost something that they still retain. My own feelings are that festivals, exhibitions, and fetes are on the raise here again, perhaps the credit crunch has made people seek more from their local towns and villages.

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