December 11, 2016

Eugène Bornet, Trois-mâts sur la terre ferme/Three-masted ship on dry land

pictures (2014) by Apolline Lepetit,
from Sophie Lepetit's weblog 

In the field of French art environments, Eugène Bornet's three-masted ship is a classic. Begun in the early 1980s, the construction in the front garden of his house in Tréglamur, Brittany, always attracted interested visitors.

Life and works 

Eugéne Bornet (1933-2020) worked as a mason and a stone cutter. In the late 1970s when he was in his mid forties, he got a disease that paralyzed his arms. Recovered after prolonged treatment his doctor advised him to take a manual activity.

So Bornet got the idea to build a ship in the garden of his house, an idea that was partly inspired by the place of origin of his wife (✝ December 2009), Audierne, a port town in the extreme west of Brittany.

He began to pick up pebbles in the fields around his community and when he had a good stock he began constructing the three-masted ship that made him known as an outsider artist.

An early review of his creation, written in 2002 by Paskal Larsen, was published in 2006 by the internet magazine Foutraque (not available anymore). Years later (June 2014) Sophie Lepetit published a series of pictures on her weblog and in the same year an article about the site appeared on the weblog Animula Vagula.

a seagull

In addition to the three-masted ship, Bornet also created smaller items, in general using pebbles and cement. Above pictured seagull is an example of such a small scale creation.

shrine for the Holy Vierge

Other creations include a lighthouse, a small replica of his living house functioning as letter box, a shrine with the Holy Vierge, as pictured above.

view from the street

On above general view of the site one can see that the low wall surrounding the garden is decorated with a number of cement dices.

Eugène Bornet passed away in November 2020. 

Documentation/more pictures
* Article (January 2011) in regional newspaper Ouest France
* Various pictures (2014) on Sophie Lepetit's weblog
* Article (2014) on weblog Animula Vagula

* scenes of the site on the North France trip video by Serflac (YouTube, starts at 23.18, cannot be embedded here)

Eugène Bornet
14 rue de la Mairie
22540 Tréglamus, dept Côtes d' Armor, region Brittany, France
can be seen from the street

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