November 6, 2010 § 1 Comment
On Thursday 30th September, Wideyed arrived chez François Blanchard, organic winemaker, at Chateau du Perron in the Touraine region of France.
For Richard and me, this was our second trip to ‘Perron City’- our first was in 2005, when we took there ‘Growing Green’, an exhibition on organic horticulture in England by Richard. And, while we were there, made work about François’ unusual winemaking process that I exhibited some of my images from in Darlington the following year, for the opening of which François came over to do a wine tasting.
We didn’t mean to then leave the photos to rest for five years but, one thing and another, that’s what happened. 2010 really seemed like a good time to take them back though, especially as Richard’s images hadn’t been seen by anyone, in England or France. And, while we were at it, why not make it a Wideyed thing?
So there were all were, Louise, Richard and me, and we were there to hang an exhibition of mine and Richard’s vintage wine images, together with Louise’s ‘Shoot!’ series on hunting in County Durham. Not knowing where exactly around the chateau we were likely to exhibit, we just turned up with a variety of prints and improvised.
With much enthusiastic encouragement from François, we chose to hang our pictures on empty wine vats lining the corridor leading to and in the barn where the white wine was made this year, so basically our exhibition was in an interesting working space, and it was up until Sunday 17th October when the harvest ended.
As a crew from France3 turned up you can see for yourself just how much fun the whole thing was, all thanks to the ‘vigneresque attitude’ of François and his partner Karine. They started making organic wine around 2003, have always considered harvest time something to celebrate, and each year invite musicians and artists along to both muck in and do their thing. At the weekends people come from around France and also Belgium, Germany, Blighty of course… and even the New York restaurant where some of François’ wine is served (hello Claire!).
Anyway, over the fortnight we were there we made ourselves useful by helping to harvest and crush grapes, but the three of us also took a lot of photos. Although we’ve known each other for several years and, since founding Wideyed, have produced exhibitions together, we haven’t worked together as photographers before and thought the trip to France, at François’ invitation, artists-in-residence style, might be just the opportunity to give it a go. We should get our films back from the lab next week hopefully, and then we’ll have an editing session, see if we can shape something from the results?
From the left: Lucy, Richard, Claire, Hans, François, Louise, and Dabu, in front of the Chateau de Chambord.
All images © Louise Taylor 2010