May 01, 2009

Franck Vriet, Règne animal/Animal kingdom

Brizambourg is a small community of about 800 inhabitants in the western coastal department Charente-Maritime, France.

Life and works

For many years there has been a charming art environment in Brizambourg, a site created by Frank Vriet (1931-2016?) who was born in the community of Cognac and moved to Brizambourg, where he had a job as a mason.

Once retired he could fully devote himself to making brightly colored sculptures, mostly depicting animals and occasionally people.

Vriet displayed the concrete sculptures in the garden around his house.

The collection is sometimes referred to as a bestiaire, but it is not clear to me how Vriet himself named his site (if he ever gave it a name....).  It is probably best referred to as an animal kingdom, un règne animal. 

Vriet was acquainted with Gabriel Albert, who created a sculpture garden in Nantillé, a community some 9 kms north of Brizambourg. It is quite probable that Albert and Vriet exchanged information about the technical aspects of making sculptures from concrete.

The website Vallée de l'Antenne, which  presents above picture of Vriet's art environment refers to Vriet as a follower of Gabriel, saying that Vriet when young worked with Gabriel.

Franck Vriet has passed away

In an article on his weblog dated december 7, 2016, Denis Montebello reports that Vriet has passed away and that his house meanwhile is uninhibited. The site is cleared, the sculptures have been removed.

As Montebello says: La maison est fermée, le jardin éventré pour livrer passage au temps. Le temps fera son oeuvre, il fera oublier l'oeuvre de ce maçon né à Cognac et qui a, Dieu sait par quel miracle, changé de vie (The house is closed, the garden ripped open to give passage to time. Time will do its work, it will make forget the work of this mason, who was born in Cognac and who, God knows by what miracle, has changed his life).

As soon little or nothing will remind of Vriet's art environment, only some series of pictures will give an impression of this sculpture garden and keep its memory.

first published may 2009, last revised aug 2018

Franck Vriet 
Sculpture garden ("Règne animal")
184 rue de Cognac
17770 Brizambourg, dept Charente -Maritime, region Nouvelle Aquitaine, France
site not extant anymore


  1. Oh boy, Henk, you continue to surprise us, this must be a fun place to visit, especially with kids... Lions & tigers & bears ! I don't know how you dig these places up, but keep digging ! You are doing a great job...
    Best, Owen

  2. Sur, Owen, this is a wonderful creation, not very well known and publicized (probably just for the better). The photostream on Flickr I refer to gives a good impression of the different works. France has so many surprises, I meet these too in your weblog, but then of course from another point of view.

    All the best, Henk