February 17, 2024

Albert Barry, Jardin décoré / Decorated garden

pictures are screenprints
from the video (2006) in the documentation

Balaruc le Vieux is a small town with about 2600 inhabitants (2019) located in the Hérault area in the south of France near the Mediterranean Sea. Along the Avenue des Bains that leads to the seaside resort of Balaruc-les-bains, there was an art environment in the capacity of a decorated garden.

Life and works

This site is a creation of Albert Barry (February 20, 1908-July 2, 2000), who started the project in 1974 when he retired at the age of 66.

Barry had a career in viticulture, first as a winegrower in the vicinity of Balaruc-le-Vieux, later as director of the local winegrowing cooperative.

When he retired he had some health problems and doctors advised him to take it very, very easy. 

But Barry was afraid that doing so would make him waste away in boredom and he decided to take up the hobby of painting that he already had loved as a child. 

So he began making all kinds of painting indoors, but he was also attracted to making a variety of sculptures to brighten up the garden with all kinds of scenes.

It became a project of many years, in which he made many sculptures of animals, such as a small rabbit next to a panther, a turtle showing the way to a large peacock, a large pink flamingo, a toucan and a gibbon.

The series of photos provides an impression of Barry's collection of animal sculptures.

In addition to animal sculptures, he also made a miniature castle, as shown in the image at the very top.

And in the second photo from the top, Mickey Mouse appears, a character designed by Walt Disney in 1928.

Barry used all kinds of materials, such as concrete and iron, but also wood and plastic. 

Residents from the area also brought him items that were no longer used, such as when someone came to him with a basket of billiard balls that were no longer used. Barry was happy with them and transformed them into some winter-proof flower arrangements

Albert Barry died in June 2002, at the age of 92. Currently his art environment doesn't exist anymore.

* Article Le Jardin d'Albert Barry by Yvonne Bruel in periodical Gazogène 17
* Albert Barry has a review in Bruno Montpied, La Gazouillis des Éléphants, Paris (Ed. du Sandre), 2017
* Entry on the website Habitants-Paysagistes (Lille Art Museum) with photos by Francis David

* Video (2007, 18.47, Daily Motion)  by Frédéric Boj et Marc Ayral

Albert Barry
Decorated garden

Avenue des Bains

Balaruc le Vieux, dept Hérault, region Occitanie, France

this art environment doesn't exist anymore


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