Our friends Tanou and Jean Pierre invited us to a Vernissage one Friday evening at the end of June. A vernissage is essentially an opening event for an exhibition or similar, what we in England might call a Private View. The event in question is the unveiling of a series of massive canvases which have been painted by a joint team of German and French teenagers at higher education level, from Carentan and Magdaburg. The artwork was conceived by the artist Eberhard Matthies who divides his time between the Cotentin and Germany. Tanou and Jean Pierre have been involved in the committee which has overseen the project which was proposed and initiated in July 2010.
With the completion of the canvases and their erection at Neville sur Mer, the object of these brightly coloured panels is to mask the darkness of a wartime past in a spirit of peace and fraternity. The panels are liked and approved of by some, and disliked by others. This is understandable; the coloured panels are arresting for sure. They will remain in place throughout July and August and add a kaleidoscope of colour to the more subtle beachside palette of typical seaside hues.