A Tale of Two Vineyards

Articles, Blog article

A bottle of Three Feathers Estate Pinot Noir perched on a vineyard wall with the town Saint-Emilion in the background, Bordeaux region, Gironde, France.

The adventure started with a neighborly “getting to know you” over coffee in our Normand vacation home, English Channel in the distance.  A dear girlfriend wished to introduce me to two childhood friends of hers, sisters, living in Normandy and vacationing in Bordeaux: “They make wine and so do you, so it should be fun to meetup!” she said, and without further ado, we did.  In our small home in the Shire (as we have nicknamed our seaside village next to Cherbourg), two worlds connected in coincidental ways; American and French, Bordeaux and Burgundy….  We met Agnès and Cécile Corre, sisters and partners in the family-owned domain of Château Pavie-Macquin in Saint-Emilion and they brought over an extraordinary bottle of their 2006 Château Pavie-Macquin 1er Grand Cru Classé as a hostess gift for dinner.  Mutual plans were laid to sally forth and explore unknown lands with this bunch of merry women. In the summer of 2017, Agnès traveled to Oregon with her children to visit family in Eugene and made a long detour to Three Feathers on Chehalem Mountains.  Agnès was impressed with our endeavors at Three Feathers, called them “pioneering”, and said our story was reminiscent of her grandparent’s … Read More

Lieux-dits | Elise Prudhomme at Studio Galerie B&B

Articles, Blog article, Exhibitions, Texts

Black and white photograph of the moat and enivrons at Château de Tanlay, Burgundy, France.  Analog photography series entitled Lieux-dits by Elise Prudhomme.

5 – 17 November 2019 OPENING Tuesday 5 November at 6 pm GALLERY HOURS : Tuesday – Friday from 3 – 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday from 2 – 7 pm Lieux-dits [Said Places] | Elise Prudhomme Photographic author, Elise Prudhomme, uses her many cameras to explore the possibilities and limits of the medium. Her subject matter varies from Landscape, Portraits or Interior Spaces but throughout there is a humor, irony and an appreciation of the surreal. Her latest exhibition is Lieux-dits. This is a French toponymic term that literally translates as “Said Places”. It refers to small geographical locations that bear traditional names often based on some characteristic of the place, its former use, or a past event. These photographs represent events as well as places, as in a memoir. One single shot was not enough to express the feeling engendered by the locale. Through a creative use of multiple perspectives and points of view to generate diverse reference points, the emotions associated with these toponyms are anchored in memory. Photographe auteur, Élise Prudhomme explore des procédés créatifs de photographie depuis la prise de vue jusqu’au tirage. La matérialisation d’idées sur un support sensible inspire le traitement du sujet … Read More

Nourishing Ground : the Buzz about Dirt

Articles, Blog article

Multi-colored Swiss Chard growing in the Sensitive Zone, Urban Farme of Saint-Denis.

Today, the “Urban Farm of Saint-Denis” is composed of the two winning projects: the Sensitive Zone (run by artist’s collective The Poetic Party – Parti poétique) – a 2.5-acre farm in permaculture around a project “nature-culture-food” and a cultural program, and the Open Farm of Saint-Denis (run by Gally Farms) – an educational and heritage farm including animals.

Hermione, Freedom’s Frigate, Redefining Past and Future

Articles, Blog article

Replica of French frigate l'Hermione docked in the Port of Cherbourg, Normandy, France during the Normandy Liberty tour May 2019.

Hermione, Freedom’s Frigate, Redefining Past and Future In 1778, the Corderie Royale in Rochefort, France, undertook the 11-month construction of a 26 cannon light frigate measuring 210 feet from stern to bow. Part of a group of four (along with the Concorde, the Courageuse and the Fée), the Hermione was built according to plans by Chevillard Aîné and commanded by major general La Fayette who boarded the ship on March 21, 1780 to meet General Washington in Boston and give help to American insurgents. In 1997, the Hermione-La Fayette Association undertook the daunting project of a 17-year construction of a replica of the 18th century Concorde class frigate, Hermione, at the restored arsenal the Corderie Royale in Rochefort, France. American born and raised, married to a Frenchman passionate about frigates and naval engineering, the Hermione reconstruction project and ambitious plan to retrace the steps of General La Fayette by sailing to America was of great interest to us. My husband and I planned a trip to Rochefort in 2009 to visit the construction site. We were amazed by this courageous endeavor to rebuild a warship that existed more than 200 years previously in it’s identical form and structure. While my … Read More

Lieux-dits | Opening night at Galerie B&B

Articles, Blog article, Exhibitions, Views

Images taken at opening night of the photography exhibition "Lieux-dits" by Elise Prudhomme at Studio Galerie B&B in Paris, France.

Exhibition opening of Lieux-dits at Studio Galerie B&B I am so pleased to be exhibiting this new photographic series entitled “Lieux-dits” at Studio Galerie B&B in Paris, France.  Here are a few photos of the exhibition and opening and below is a video that shows the installation. Wall space being limited, we will continue to change out different prints from the same series starting tomorrow night.  These large format pigment prints on Awagami paper are made from 6 x 18 cm film negatives and all effects are made “in camera”. Installation vidéo Exposition du 5 – 22 novembre 2018 Vernissage le mardi 6 novembre de 18h à 21h Studio Galerie B&B 6 bis rue des Récollets – 75010 Paris info@studiogaleriebb.com

Herculean, Pharaonic and other Garden Superlatives

Articles

Tree ferns growing in the tropical greenhouse, Château du Champ de Bataille, Normandy, France.

Herculean, Pharaonic and other Garden Superlatives One of the Seven Wonders, for which the specific location has never been established, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are said to have contained a large variety of trees, shrubs and vines planted in tiers on raised terraces in an extraordinary feat of engineering. While visiting the Remarkable Gardens (see other garden studies with this label) of the Château du Champ de Bataille, I drew a parallel with these mythical gardens, beginning with the symbolic notion that they are said to embody: The Seven Degrees of Creation from the Mineral, Vegetal, and Animal to Humanity, Conscience, Light and Spirit, in that order. Jacques Garcia, renowned decorator, acquired the château in 1992. Working with landscape architect Patrick Pottier, they carried out the herculean task of conceiving and planting more than 240 acres of formal gardens consisting of groves, French parterres, boxwood topiary, basins, terraces, steps and fountains complimented by temples, theaters and sculptures. Hidden at the end of the garden is the “pièce de résistance” (flourish); a genuine 18th century Indian palace, reconstructed stone by stone, complete with an artificial lake: the Palace of Dreams. From the Material to the Immaterial, visitors pass from the … Read More

Lieux-dits [Said Places] | Exhibition at Galerie B&B

Articles, Blog article, Exhibitions, Texts

Exhibition announcement for the new analog photography series by Elise Prudhomme entitled Lieux-dits. Works from the series exhibited at Studio Galerie B&B.

Lieux-dits | New series exhibited at Studio Galerie B&B Photographic author, I use a variety of analog and digital cameras to explore the possibilities and limits of the medium. While my choice of subject matter varies from Landscape, Portraits or Interior Spaces throughout there is a humor, irony and an appreciation of the surreal. My latest series is titled “Lieux-dits”. This is a French toponymic term that literally translates as “Said Places”. It refers to small geographical locations that bear traditional names often based on some characteristic of the place, its former use, or a past event. These photographs represent events as well as places, as in a memoir. One single shot was not enough to express the feeling engendered by the locale. Through a creative use of multiple exposures to generate diverse reference points, the emotions associated with the “Lieux-dits” are anchored in memory. Taken during travels, when my sensitivity to my surrounds was most acute, they relate tales of encounters, lights and foreign languages during an adventurous time in my life. Lieux-dits | Nouvelle série exposée au Studio Galerie B&B Photographe auteur,  j’explore des procédés créatifs de photographie depuis la prise de vue jusqu’au tirage. La matérialisation d’idées … Read More

A Woodworker’s Dream

Architecture, Articles, Blog article

Benoit Lechevallier starting the Ruston & Hornsby motor of Saint Gabriel Flour Mill.  Restoration of the Saint-Gabriel Flour Mill, Saint-Gabriel-Brecy, France.

A Woodworker’s Dream | Visiting the Saint Gabriel Flour Mill Contemplating current trends in gluten-free bread, flour-less cakes and slow food, it was thought provoking to step back to post-war France and learn about technology and engineering during the industrial revolution.   This opportunity arose during a weekend visit to the town of Saint Gabriel de Brécy, Normandy. The Saint Gabriel Flour Mill, now inscribed into the Industrial Patrimony of the Calvados region, is a magnificent example of a once-working flour mill that is being carefully restored by its owners.  Closed permanently in 1975, the mill was purchased in 2012 by Isabelle Laïlle and Benoît Lechevallier (carpenter/cabinet maker).  Isabelle and Benoît have rallied local inhabitants, many of whose family members once worked at the mill, to revive the memory of this working environment and an association has been created for this purpose.  The diverse professions of this group have enabled the successful restoration to impeccable working condition of a hydraulic turbine engine fabricated by Ruston & Hornsby (UK), of which only two remain in the world, regulated by a Watt Ball Regulator. It is interesting to read in Flour Milling, A Theoretical and Practical Handbook of Flour Manufacture by Peter Kozmin … Read More

A Garden Party at Brécy Castle

Articles, Events coverage

Garden Party during Patrimony Day 2018 to commemorate Barbara Wirth at Brécy Castle Gardens, Saint Gabriel Brécy, France.

A Garden Party at Brécy Castle Patrimony Day in France happens once a year and enables curious visitors to see and experience treasures of French patrimony that are not typically open to the public.  This year, I had the pleasure of experiencing several special places dressed for the occasion under beautiful blue sky of mid-September all in one weekend.  The first and foremost is Brécy Castle Gardens, which I had already photographed in 2012 with a large format film camera. This year, a private invitation was launched to commemorate the fifth year of the passing of Barbara Wirth.  Gardener extraordinaire, she and her husband Didier orchestrated the restoration of the gardens of Brécy from their purchase of the château in 1992. We learn, in reading the marvelous and freshly published Florilegium of Brécy Garden by Béatrice Saalburg and Catherine Watters, that the key to the elegance of this garden is a striking harmony of “just enough” in Barbara’s selection of plants.  To complement graphically dominant yew, hornbeam and boxwood topiary, of which an intricate parterre de broderie on the ground level sets the stage for the terraces, Barbara added a savvy selection of roses, clematis, hellebore, lily and iris.  She … Read More

Cross-Cultural Fairy Tales, or A Yarn Well-Spun

Articles, Blog article

Entrance to the Château de Maulmont, Saint-Priest-Bramefant, France.

Cross-Cultural Fairy Tales, or A Yarn Well-Spun One fine Saturday in June the stage was set for a celebration of Love and Life at the historical Château de Maulmont located in the Auvergne region of France.  Having fallen in love with France first, and her husband-to-be second, my girlfriend discovered this quintessentially French hunting lodge not far from her fiancé’s native town of Vichy and planned a fabulous wedding party where their guests could lodge on premises. In a miniature re-enactment of a French Court assembly, she booked the entire château including rooms for family and friends traveling from afar, local friends with small children and couples who would enjoy partaking of a true Château experience. A little history about this charming location: Originally a Templar’s stronghold in the 13th century built by Renaud de Vichy after returning home from the crusades, the château was acquired by Guillaume de Maulmont in an exchange with Phillipe Le Bel (then King of France).  In 1829 it became the property of Princess Adelaïde Louise d’Orléans, sister of King Louis Philippe d’Orléans, who also owned the royal estate in Randan.  Princess Adelaïde demolished old Templar ruins and commissioned the construction a hunting lodge by … Read More

Wedding Reception at the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée

Blog article, Commissions, Events coverage, Interiors, Portraits

Table setting for formal dinner at wedding reception at the Cercle de l'Union Interalliée, Paris, France.

Georgina and Amal’s Wedding Reception at the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée The mother of the bride called me to ask if I could photograph her daughter’s wedding reception at a beautiful venue in Paris, France – Le Cercle de l’Union Interalliée, and naturally I accepted.  What a thrill to penetrate the halls of such a venerable institution as this and for a perfect reason; to photograph a young couple about to engage in the vows of marriage.  Indeed the real wedding will take place in India, so this Parisian event was the only moment that friends and family unable to travel to India could celebrate the bride and groom to be. A little history.  The Union Interalliée was founded in 1917 at the point when the United States entered into the war.  The founders conceived of a place where officers and personalities of the Allied nations could rejoin and give each other moral support and share resources.  Receiving support from many, they were able to acquire the hotel Henri de Rothschild in 1920 and thereby encourage diplomatic relations between the allied nations.  The building is situated on rue Faubourg Saint Honoré, just down the street from the Elysée Palace and … Read More

Modern residence and garden by Taliesin West architect

Architecture, Blog article, Decoration, Interiors

A modern example of Organic Architecture by Taliesin West architect This modern residence and formal garden located in Western Oregon was designed and constructed by a graduate of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West.  His interest in learning the principles of Organic Architecture, as Frank Lloyd Wright referred to his own work, is underlined by Wright’s words; “Learn the principles and do not copy me.” The principles of Organic Architecture encompass an overall design process where everything relates to one another both on the inside and the outside. The relationship of the building to its natural surroundings is as important as the details in its interior – from the windows, to the floors, to the furniture that fills the space. Organic Architecture covers the construction materials, motifs and design principles which work together as a unified whole to build a central mood and theme. The fundamental design of this architect’s home which includes broad cantilevers, horizontal lines and open interior space, all strong elements of Organic Architecture, give this private residence a ‘Wright look’.  After twenty one years, this house still maintains that timeless quality that Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes are known for. A quote from … Read More

The Gordon House | Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian vision

Architecture, Blog article

The Gordon House | Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian vision The Oregon Garden welcomed one of the last of the ‘Usonian’ home series designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1957 for Evelyn and Conrad Gordon, The Gordon House, which its 2001 owners wished to tear down. The building was dismantled and restored to its new environment in Silverton. Designed for the American working-class consumer, a Usonian home was a small, single-story house constructed with native materials. It had a flat roof and cantilevered overhangs for energy efficiency and clerestory windows to enhance the visual relationship between interior and exterior. A carport (word coined by Wright) served to shelter a parked vehicle. These homes, of which Wright designed about sixty, are considered to be an aesthetic precursor to ranch-style dwellings.

Pinhole workshop Granville Photo Club, France

Blog article, Workshops

One thing leads to another… My appearance on January 1, 2014, in waders with an 8×10″ pinhole camera and tripod slung behind my back, on the Grand Grève of Granville sollicited curosity by a gentleman stroller-by.  An enthusiastic member of the Granville Photo Club, he asked if I might be interested in demonstrating use of this particular pinhole camera (the Harman Titan 8×10). Pinhole workshop at the Granville Photo Club, France In April 2014, I made a presentation of large format pinhole photography to the interested members of the club, followed by a portrait session using color slide film (result above).  Working with an 8×10″ camera has always tempted me, however the weight and unweildiness has not.  I have found an adequate compromise in the large format pinhole camera which is lighter weight and easy to carry on my back if I am trekking.  The negatives can be made into contact prints or scanned and enlarged.  I am currently testing cyanotypes with these pinhole negatives and love the result.

Yours Mine Le Nôtre’s | Exhibition in Passage de la Geôle, Versailles

Articles, Exhibitions

Exhibition poster for Artistes dans la rue in Versailles 2013

Yours Mine Le Nôtre’s exhibited in Passage de la Geôle, Versailles The Association of Antique and Gallery dealers of Versailles has invited me to exhibit my series Yours, Mine, Le Nôtre’s during the Versailles Autumn Festival 2013. Twenty-seven color and black and white photographs (silver gelatin prints and c-prints) are exhibited. Quartier des Antiquaires – Passage de la Geôle, 78000 Versailles from 10 October – 3 November, 2013. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:30 am to 19:00 pm.

France Revisited publishes my article and photographs about the Garden of Versailles

Articles, Press, Texts

Broderie, Versailles Chateau Garden, France, 2012 (part of the series Yours, Mine, Le Nôtre's) by Elise Prudhomme.

Yours, Mine, Le Nôtre’s: An American Photographer Examines the Garden of Versailles As France celebrates the 400th anniversary of the birth of André Le Nôtre, the father of French gardens, France Revisited explores some of this 17th-century landscape gardener’s most famous gardens and parks. Here, in text and images, American photographer Elise Prudhomme, a longtime Paris resident whose work has been exhibited in the Tuileries Garden and will soon appear in an exhibition in Versailles, guides us along the garden paths of Versailles. by Gary Lee Kraut * * * Photographs and text by Elise Prudhomme André Le Nôtre designed the Garden of Versailles to display, reflect and serve as the backdrop for the pomp and glory and power of the reign of Louis XIV. As such the garden functioned as a direct extension of the palace itself. Piqued by Nicolas Fouquet’s audacious success with the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte which he visited in 1661, Louis XIV enlisted the three men who had contributed to that success—the architect Louis Le Vau, the painter-decorator Charles Le Brun and the landscape gardener André Le Nôtre—to create the palace of all palaces: Versailles. read full article…

France Revisited publishes my article and photographs about the Tuileries Garden

Articles, Press, Texts

Liberté or Liberty, Tuileries Garden, Paris, France, 2011 (part of the series Yours, Mine, Le Nôtre's) by Elise Prudhomme.

Celebrating Le Nôtre: An American Photographer Explores the Tuileries Garden France Revisited joins France’s celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of André Le Nôtre, the father of French gardens, with seven stunning photos of Paris’s most historical garden, the Tuileries Garden, by American photographer Elise Prudhomme. Yours, Mine, Le Nôtre’s Photographs and text by Elise Prudhomme A walk through the Tuileries Garden is a return to the origin of French gardens. Considering its long heritage of transformations by queens, kings, landscape architects and gardeners, the Tuileries cannot be fully attributed to André Le Nôtre (1613-1700). It can nevertheless be viewed as the matrix of André Le Nôtre’s career. By matrix I mean that the Tuileries was his testing grounds and the precursor of his future projects, the womb or mold from which his future work originated and developed.  Without the Tuileries there would be no Versailles. read full article…