April 23, 2011

Visiting some environments in northern France with Laurent Jacquy

Avesnes-sur-Helpe (2010)
all  pictures in this post courtesy of Laurent Jacquy
My internet friend Laurent Jacquy from Amiens, France, who is the editor of a very complete website about Bodan Litnianski, early 2011 started a blog, named Les beaux dimanches

His blog is kind of an illustrated magazine of the Club Des Chercheurs Et Des Curieux, the Club of the researchers and the curious (subdivision of the singular, the irregular and the organised disorder).

Just what I do like very much. And periodically les beaux dimanches will have nice stories about outsider art environments

Visiting some environments in northern France 

So let's go and make a trip along some of the art environments in northern France described by  Laurent in his blog and in personal communication.

Avesnes-sur-Helpe is a small city in the western part of the Nord department, not far from the Belgian border. There you can see this front of a house, decorated with all kinds of (farmers) utensils. 

The picture in the top of this post shows a detail. 

There is no further information available about who made this, or when.

Avesnes-sur-Helpe (2010)
Next let's go to the community of l'Étoile, which is located in the Somme department, close to the area with the multitude of ponds near the Somme river.

There, another decorated front of a house can be discovered. It is a very modest one, but it is nice in its simplicity, with sculpted animals and low-reliefs of painted cement.

Once more, there is no information available about who made this and when.

Here is how it looks like on streetview

decorated front of a house in l'Étoile (2011)

Next stop. Quesnoy sur Airaines, a community which is also in the Somme area. 

There one can see Soleil sans fin (Endless Sun), an art environment originally begun by monsieur Goldoni.

Mr Goldont began creating the site in 1965. It is mentioned by Francis David in his Guide de l'art insolite Nord/Pas de Calais, Paris (Ed Herscher), 1984.

Francis David in 1983 made photos of Goldoni's decorated house, in 2018 published on the website Habitants-Paysagistes.

decorated exterior of "Soleil sans fin" 
in Quesnoy sur Airaines (2011)

In his post Laurent has noted that over the years the site has changed: some wooden structures were removed, new sculptures were added and all sculptures have been freshly painted

detail (2011)

In January 2023, this weblog described the development of this art environment up to that time. It turns out that Goldoni's house is inhabited by a daughter of his, who does her best to maintain the sculptures outside, but also the decorations and paintings in the interior as well as possible.

Next and last stop of this trip is Berck-sur-mer, a seaside resort in the Pas-de-Calais department.

Here a maison insolite can be found, which looks like this: 

maison insolite, Berck-sur-mer (2010)

This construction, with its typical wall and two towers, was made by Joseph Meyer (1914 - ?), who worked on this project between 1950 and 1960.

detail (2010)
When I wrote this post in April 2011 I didn't have the information that later became available, as incorporated in a separate post about Joseph Meyer's creation of September 8, 2014.

All credits for this trip around some art environments in the north of France to the author of weblog les Beaux Dimanches. Thanks, Laurent. 


  1. Am off to go look at Laurent's blog and website, thanks, as always, for the tips !

  2. Hi Owen, I am quite sure you will enjoy your visit. Wow, do we have nice sunny days....have been outside all day. Best, Henk

  3. Laurent's blog sounds like it will be very interesting, thanks for letting us know! I'm going to go and stop by it now.

  4. Hi Jody, yes, do take a look at Laurent's blog. It is in french, so this might also bring some sweet memories of the time you stayed in France.

  5. Information about the house in Berk can be found in this book by Bruno Montpied (and DVD by Remy Ricordeau):


    I seems that it can be rent as a bed and breakfast !