November 11, 2008

How it all began, Bonjour aux promeneurs, about environments and outsiders

Bonjour aux promeneurs!
Welcome, visitors!

Visiting the Cathedral in Chartres when we were on holiday in France in the 1990's, my partner found a flyer about sites to see in Chartres and she said "We should see Picassiette".

Who? What?  Never heard of....

But we went to see Picassiette and we were totally overwhelmed. We saw a house and a garden decorated with mosaic. Exterior, interior, walls, furniture, beds, everything, even madame´s sewing machine.

Like this:

All that creative work was produced by a man of simple means, who lived a modest life, had no artistic education at all, a man who devoted some twenty years of his life to create this visionary environment.

It was most impressive.

That visit to La Maison Picassiette marked the beginning of a passion.
I began collecting information on sites like this one in Chartres, in France and other countries in Europe.

And I soon learned there are a lot of such sites, some well known by the general public, like the Palais Ideal of facteur Cheval, some only known by a small number of interested people, some almost forgotten and in danger of decay and an unknown number of sites that have been demolished.

I am doing this weblog with the objective to produce an inventory and documentary of outsider environments  in Europe.  Making these sites better known to the general public is included in this objective.

On a special page you will find a general introduction to the topics dealt with in this blog and on another page I have referred to the sources I use in general and expressed acknowledgements.

This blog also has indexes that refer to art environments, one sorting alphabetically on names of creators and another one sorting on countries/regions.

Meanwhile other pages have been added:
- a timeline listing events in the field of art environments in Europe on a meta-level
- a page listing expositions
- a page with an annotated bibliography
- a page listing museums and collections

Enjoy your visit !

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