The sculpture park at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec
This year, the sculpture park at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec (Morbihan department) celebrates its 30th anniversary. For the occasion, we interviewed Olivier Delavallade, director of the Domaine de Kerguéhennec.
ScNa: For the past five years you have been at the head of the Domaine du Kerguéhennec. Could you briefly present the main missions you have implemented since your arrival in 2011?
Olivier Delavallade: The project could be summarized in three words: art, architecture, landscape. What’s at the heart of our mission is the dialogue between cultural heritage and creation. How these notions feed each other. Artists as well as the public are extremely interested in these questions.
This year you are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the sculpture park. What are the activities planned for this anniversary?
We are presenting an exhibition with the Frac Bretagne around the topic of the Landscape because it is thanks to the Frac that this place became dedicated to art and creation and because we share with it the question of landscape, which is central to its rich collection. Furthermore, young artist Simon Augade was invited to a residency in the spring to create the 33rd sculpture of the park; a monumental work in the heart of the Domaine, in what used to be the vegetable garden. It’s a work that speaks just as much about sculpture as about architecture and landscape. It is a beautiful creation which demonstrates, if need be, the pertinence and the vitality of the young artistic scene in our country.
Regarding artist residencies, an average of about five per year, what are the selection criteria? How do artists work during their residency time? Is there an exchange between the artist and the public during and/or after their residency?
There are no calls for projects but rather invitations of artists which we reach out to because we think their presence at Kerguéhennec equally contributes to the development of their own reflection as to the place which will nurture it. Meetings are organized in situ and outside of the Domaine through the DRAC (Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles – Regional office for cultural affairs) and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
What are the educational and mediation initiatives you have undertaken to open the Domaine to a wider public and what is the response to these initiatives.
At the heart of the transmission, there is the encounter with the site, in all its aspects (architecture, landscape, history, and environment), the artwork and the artists. The artistic practice holds an important role: see, talk about what we see, and also create, without claiming to become artists, but just to experience reality in a different way.
How does the sculpture park at Kerguéhennec evolve? How can a new sculpture become part of it?
A distinction has often been made between sculpture parks of the first and second generation. The first generation being closer to open sky museums and the second being more part of a response to landscape and environment. Maybe we’ll have to consider a third generation of sculpture parks that would be more focused on visitors’ habits and practices. Once again, artists will offer suggestions and will make things evolve. We don’t know yet what will happen… which makes the adventure all the more thrilling!
A sneak peak of upcoming activities for 2017?
Actually, we will reflect on visitors’ habits at the park. Why does one come to such a place? It is to stroll, to rest, to play, to eat? Reflection and architectural creation will be highlighted through the creation of pavilions and follies.
Sculpture Nature: what does this association evoke for you?
The relationship between art and nature is at the core of our reflection. This old philosophical question is central to the contemporary artistic and political debate. It is as fascinating as it is inexhaustible. And the creations of the artists we invite offer as many responses… as questions!
Could you recommend a sculpture park to our readers?
In France, it would be Vassivière-en-Limousin. It’s an amazing place, an island in the middle of a lake, in a magnificent region. The works are of outstanding quality. Just as in Kerguéhennec, an art center opened up in the heart of the island and of the park.
Domaine de Kerguéhennec
+33 (0)2 97 60 31 84
Annual closure (sculpture park excluded) :
November 7 — December 6, 2016
The sculpture park is open every day from 8am to 9pm.
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