FORTY THREE artists, sculptors and photographers gathered for the 9th E.V.A.sions de la Peinture et des Arts Contemporaine competition in the Auxois region of the Cote d'Or, Burgundy.
The event opens with the vernissage, or private viewing, with wine and the exhibitors selecting one piece of their work to show to the invited guests, with welcoming speeches also given where the guest of honour, who exhibits but is not judged, Marie Javouhey being introduced.
The exhibits were displayed in barns owned by residents of five villages in the Auxois, Villy-en-Auxois, Salmaise, Verry-sous-Salmaise, Villeberny and Dampierre-en-Montagne, with the organisers choosing a village for each artist.
Having mounted their work in the barns on Friday the true exhibition started at 10am on Saturday when the barns were opened to the visiting public.
Visitors collected a catalogue from the main stand in Villy-en-Auxois and after their tour around the barns they could vote for three exhibitors which counts towards the eventual winners.
We decided to take our grandchildren and introduce them to the various types of artwork and were intrigued to see how they would react and what they would make of what was on offer and how the exhibitors would accept inquisitive children.
We need not have worried as Abigail and James took a clip board and pencils with the intention of producing their own interpretation of the exhibits.
They found the sculptures most interesting, one of which was by a previous winner, François Geymann, who exhibited sculptures of various sizes and in particular three large geese and two bears.
When they saw the work of Marie-Noelle Noury they really took an interest.
Marie-Noelle produces a series of sculptures in paper called Maurice in different environments and situations of everyday life. Maurice is colourful and quite delightful, so much so that we had to buy a tiny Maurice who now lives in our lounge.
Fabienne Dodey produces some extraordinary pictures from sand.
She uses a base which she covers in adhesive. A cut out of the picture is put over the base and carefully with tweezers and great precision the sand is added. The sand has various origins and therefore comes in a variety of colours.
After producing some interesting interpretations the children, and both of us, were exhausted.
Some of the barns are not easily accessible to wheelchair users, while a few are non accessible. This is to be expected as they are in daily use by their owners and many are part of farm buildings.
It is hoped that for next year something may be put in place to allow better access for disabled and people with reduced mobility.
One barn still had a tractor in residence which the exhibitor had used to their advantage for displaying their paintings.
Bill Philip from Ferring in West Sussex, exhibited his photographs at Villy-en-Auxois.
And as this was the first time he had exhibited in the competition he was delighted not only to sell some of his pictures but also to win first place as the visitor's choice.
The Sunday offered, not just the opportunity for amateur artists to compete for prize money but also at Villy-en-Auxois for children to dabble with paint.
Sunday evening saw 12 prizes awarded to the winners and it was obvious that from the president, Nelly Morizot to the youngest visitor a wonderful weekend was experienced by everyone.
For more photographs on Flickr please see: EVAsions de la peinture et des arts contemporains