And so winter begins....
For those of you here in Devon . . .

Sir Lanval in Exeter



The poster above is for the English opening of the French/English "Sir Lanval" art exhibition, which had its French opening in Brittany earlier this year. It is connected to the new "Sir Lanval" film (based on a medieval fairy tale by Marie de France, scripted by Elizabeth-Jane Baldry and Ari Berk), and is part of the English/French "Shared Legends" project. For more information, please see my previous posts on the subject.

The film itself was premiered in Brittany in October, where it was very well received -- and will have its first English screening (at The Picture House in Exeter) in March, 2011. In the meantime, you can see a snippet from the start of "Sir Lanval" on YouTube, here -- featuring purple-clad fairy maidens in the magical local landscape as it passes through four seasons.  (Some of the film was shot in Brittany and the rest of it here in Devon.)

The "Sir Lanval" exhibition is based on the original Marie de France story, rather than the film, which none of the artists had yet seen. Each artist was asked to read the 12 century tale and to interpret it in his or her own way. Brian Froud's contribution, for example, was "Guinevere" (the large image on the poster above): a dark version of Arthur's queen, who is dark indeed in the fairy tale. The smaller image on the poster is by the French painter and graphic novel artist Olivier Ledroit.

Rima Staines drew on medieval art and traditional Breton costume for inspiration in the beautiful paintings below; you can read about their creation on her blog, here. My own contribution was a fairy tale collage, which you can see and read about here.


Lanval doorways

Artists in the "Sir Lanval" exhibition (curated by Virginie Ropars & Kelly Martinez)

English: Ian Daniels, Brian Froud, Wendy Froud, Alan Lee, Kelly Martinez, Jaqui Martinez, Ed Org, Marc Potts, Linda Ravenscroft, Gentian Sims Revill, Rima Staines, Josephine Wall, and me.

French: Brucero, Erle Ferronniere, Didier Graffet, Olivier Ledroit, Jean Lemonniere, Yoann Lossel, Severine Pineaux, Jean-Sebastien Rossbach, Virginie Ropars, Erwan Seure Le Bihan, Anne Smith, and David Thierree.

A number of the French artists will be coming over for the opening of the exhibition this weekend, and we'll be hosting them here in the village for a few days. They're hoping to see some of the mythic sights of Dartmoor, so my fingers are crossed that we're not snowed in. . . .


And while we're speaking of France and fairy tale films:


The magical and sumptuous home of Jean Cocteau (writer, artist, dramatist, opium dreamer, bon vivant, and director of the fairy tale film classic La Belle et la Bête) is now open to the public, just south of Paris. You can read more about it here.

And if you can get somehow your hands on a copy: Beauty and the Beast: A Film Diary, Cocteau's journal about the making of his famous film, is an absolute treat.