The End is nigh as French artist takes up residence

ARTIST AT WORK: Frenchman Fabrice Cazenave has taken up residence at Hill End, just in time for The End festival next weekend. Photo: JM LEVEN
ARTIST AT WORK: Frenchman Fabrice Cazenave has taken up residence at Hill End, just in time for The End festival next weekend. Photo: JM LEVEN

A French artist has arrived in Hill End this week to begin a six -week residency.

Fabrice Cazenave is the inaugural recipient of the French Artist in Residence (FAR) program co-ordinated by the French Consulate in Sydney.

Although Cazenave has been living in the centre of Paris for the past 15 years, he is looking forward to spending time in Hill End as he grew up in a similar village in regional France in the west Pyrenees region.

Cazenave creates artworks about landscape in various mediums, from drawing and painting to sculpture, which he develops en plein air and often through a somatosensory approach to the landscape and “exterior environments”.

Somatosensory means the conscious perception of touch, pressure, pain, temperature, position, movement and vibration emitted by the surrounding environment and felt by the body through senses other than the regular five.

To do this, Cazenave often works with his eyes closed and encounters the landscape through a kind of meditation.

The works produced depict a spiritual encounter with the landscape, revealing things that are hidden from sight and reforming what is visible.

Cazenave has arrived at a great time with The End so near.

From next Friday, April 20 to Sunday, April 22, Hill End Historic Site will host The End Festival.

The festival will showcase local creators and producers of art, crafts, music, performance and food.

As part of the festival, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery will transform the Sacred Heart Church into a gallery.

BRAG invited artists who have participated in the Hill End Artist in Residence Program to create a Postcard To The End on a 6”x4” canvas.

The artists have responded in a range of media including collage, painting, text, sculpture and photography. These ‘postcards to the end’ will be on display along the church aisle, as if in a procession.

During the festival, visitors to the Sacred Heart Church will be invited to write their own postcards from The End.

Along the walls of the church a selection of works from BRAG permanent collection will be displayed.

Music will also be a highlight with Bathurst duo Smith and Jones performing Fleetwood Mac’s award-winning Rumours album in the Royal Hotel on the Friday night and Christa Hughes’ manic musical melodrama Neurotic Ladyland to close the night on the Saturday.

For further information about the Hill End Artist in Residence Program visit www.hillendart.com.au. For further information about The End Festival visit www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/the-end.

Julian Woods is the acting curator at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery