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Calern 2004 was the 6th annual part-of-nature art exhibit held on the Calern plateau, north of Grasse in the Alpes Maritimes.

The setting is the terrain of white Jurrasic dolomitic limestone and sunken round hollows (dolines), most with fertile flat grassy bottoms and a few that fall into the deep. In the background are far hills in most directions, a bit of the blue Mediterranean to the south, and the astronomical units of the CERGA observatory. While hiking through here earlier in the week we passed a flock of sheep being herded by a lone shepard and a busy sheepdog. The spring wildflowers are all gone by July, but the true lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) covers the ground everywhere, adding a background color and scent.

This is an underpublicised event (we live here and we only heard about it by accident - after six years), and makes a wonderful outing, whether you're fully or only mildly interested in art.

The event this year was officially titled "Calern 2004 - sculptures et installations éphémères", with 24 artists exhibiting: Abril, Baillie, Bea, Boulukos, Cappello, Carlotti, Casula et Botanik-System, Charpentier, Corbier, Cotto, David R, Dieleman, Driesen, Eymond, Gaudard, Hervo-Bergè, de Hildebrandt, Mendonça avec Biry et Lépée, Moreau, Radovic-Douillard, Ravoisier, Roche, Van der Made and Viala.

Wandering through this prehistoric landscape all seems barren, until an orange marker shows where you can peer into a half-hidden hollow to discover a bright, imaginative creation that blends with, or contrasts with, nature at the whim of the artist.

You can learn more about the sponsors:

  • Jean Louis CHARPENTIER
  • email:
  • In Situ Corpo
  • web:
  • 11 bis Ave de la Vallière, 06100 Nice.

Our selection of photos to display here is quite random, and in no way a comment on the quality of the work. It did seem that an enormous amount of effort and care went into every display and, whether we personally liked a display a little or a lot, everything here was uniquely interesting and most quite imaginative. We'll be back here next year for sure.

Since our list here is incomplete, and the works weren't as nicely labeled as in a museum, we've (mostly) not identified the artists with the work. As far as our labels go, we apologize to the artists.

photo calernart04j0016.jpg [c] A Tibetan flags exhibit, correctly aligned and carefully detailed (this one by Françoise Eymond).

photo calernart04j0017.jpg [d] A ladder to the sky?

photo calernart04j0027.jpg [e] We guess the clones are mere shadows of the real things.

photo calernart04j0029.jpg [f] No idea of the form, but lovely colors in a lovely setting.

photo calernart04j0032.jpg [g] Most impressed here with the backdrop.

photo calernart04j0033.jpg [h] Bamboo sticks floating in air.

photo calernart04j0039.jpg [i] That's a spectator visiting the event on horseback.

photo calernart04j0056.jpg [k] Antelope in front of the mountains? The backdrop here makes them even better.

photo calernart04j0062.jpg [m] Red wings.

photo calernart04j0068.jpg [n] Adam and Eve. Really wonderful. That's Adam at the left, Eve reclining wantonly in the tree, a very large serpent, and the apple hanging just above Adam.

The Artists

[a, m] The yellow voile and the red flowers (les grandes fleurs rouges et la voile jaune) by Roland MOREAU, Sculpteur participant and Conseiller municipal de Caussols.

[b] Tibetan flags. By Françoise Eymond.

[n] Adam and Eve. By Bea (

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