The french community of Saint-Coulomb, located along the Baye de Saint Michel in Britanny, has its own attraction park, a rather special site because it has been created from recuperated materials by a local inhabitant,
Life and works
Born in 1929, Fernand Chapet at age 14 went to work. He was active in the car industry and in the marines as an electrician.
Once retired, in the late 1990's he began transforming a meadow-like area near his house into a Champ des attractions, adding various self-constructed items, which are characterized by being able to make movements.
In french such creations are designated as automates, a term that refers to a device mimicking the movements of a living being. In the terminology of this blog they could be designated as animated creations.
In his early years a cycling enthusiast, Chapet has made various creations in which old bikes have been processed, as in the picture below.
But Chapet's attention is also paid to local and regional major events, such as the expected opening in 2017 of a high speed train link from Paris to Saint Malo. a train à grande vitesse (TGV).
Maybe that's why the regional train from Saint Malo to Cancale -pictured below- has the abbrevation TPV (train à petite vitesse ?).
In making his creations Chapet devotes most attention to the technical aspects.
The life-size dolls that depict people, are dressed in discarded clothing and to portray the faces Chapet uses masks, what according to him is the toughest part to do, beacuse where he lives these are not so easy to obtain.
The charm of the site consists in the movements of the creations that populate it, a capacity that has especially been devised by Chapet to amuse people.
Located in a tourist area, especially in summer the Parc des automates attracts numerous visitors indeed.
* Website Les automates de Saint Coulomb by Fernand Chapet (in french)
* Article by Jeanine Rivais on her website (in french)
* Article in regional newspaper Le Télégramme (dec 2014, in french)
* Video by France3 TV (1'48", made 2012, uploaded dec 2014, Youtube)
Parc des automates
Saint-Coulomb, lieu-dit la Ville-es-Treux, Britanny, France