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With oils and a palette knife, Els Knockaert paints a world full of light and colour. Born in Belgium in 1964 and a graduate of the country’s top art schools, Els considers herself a woman of the world, having travelled extensively in Asia, Africa and Colombia. From 1996 to 2002, Els and her husband lived on a farm in the Colombian jungle and ran a guest house, while she exhibited her work and taught painting in Cartagena, Barranquilla and Santa Marta. With the civil war drawing closer, they left Colombia in 2003 and settled in Olargues, as the landscape reminded them of Colombia.

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LeSun N66 WINTER 2018 coverDownload Languedoc & Provence Sun N°66 (Winter 2018)

 

I recently spent a few days on the Riviera. What a surprise it was to find so many people speaking English (and native speakers), even among the wait staff! In my short stay, I met one waitress from Ireland and another from Marlow in Berkshire. It was like being back in the UK for a while... Here in Nîmes, it’s still quite rare to hear people speaking English – and I love it when it happens! I always start a conversation, and it’s a special event for me. On the Riviera, it’s an everyday experience...

 

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LeSun N68 SUMMER 2018 coverDownload Languedoc & Provence Sun N°68 (Summer 2018)

 


This issue is all about belonging, in its many different forms, and how that can change us. I was having a coffee at the Grande Bourse in Nîmes opposite the Arènes, next to a young couple and their baby, and I suddenly realised that my role as mother to my own son had changed. In July he’ll actually be playing in the Nîmes Arènes, opening for world-famous singer Jamiroquai — he’ll be there, all alone like a gladiator in the middle of thousands of people. Thus my role of mother has now metamorphosed into something very different from when he was little. It’s a strange feeling for a mother to have a child "belonging" to the public — I’m very happy and proud of course, but I now need to learn this new role as a "distance carer".

  

Cover photo: “La Cabane des Sauveteurs, Gruissan Plage” (oil on canvas) – 40x30cm - Jennifer Dennis

 

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The presence of serial Cannes prizewinner Ken Loach in Nîmes from March 2 to 11 is the highlight of this year’s 21st British Screen Festival.

 

Clear your calendar for those key dates in March now! In honour of Ken Loach’s presence at the festival, there will be a retrospective of his film and TV work, stretching back to the 1960s when works such as Cathy Come Home provoked outrage in Britain at the plight of the homeless. There will also be major films of social and historic commentary such as Kes, The Wind that Shook the Barley, Looking for Eric, and 2016 Cannes Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake.

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Libby has created limited edition reproductions of some of the paintings from her last exhibition Transitions. Only 20 prints from each painting are made and each one hand signed by the artist. They will be available from 8th January but do join Libby along with Angela Saunders at Inspiré Azille for a glass of bubbly on Saturday 13th January for the launch.

A new range of beautiful cushions and her annual calendar will also be available and a percentage of the proceeds go to the Canal du Midi’s replantation project. Come and see the continuing adventure at Galerie Inspiré in Azille (Aude).

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When does a place feel like home? When you know the people and faces; when you can navigate the roads without thinking about the route; when you layer memories in it with family and friends? For me, it’s all the little things. Landing back in Béziers and feeling an overwhelming sense of familiarity, giving a bonjour back to local faces around town, spending holidays and down time exploring nearby places.

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Larzac & Loddon is a new line of designer scarves made from 100% pure silk, based on the oil paintings of artist Frances Macve. You may remember her painting of a European roller bird on the cover of last year’s Christmas issue. Frances came to France to paint in 1987, having previously worked in the wine industry in central London.

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The association The Friends of the Anglophone Library (FOAL) was set up six & a half years ago in Montpellier once it became clear that we were not going to be able to save the former American Library. We fought long and hard and got a lot of press coverage. Our petition gathered 2200 signatures. Sadly to no avail. The new association wanted to provide a library, not to replace the old one, but at least to offer a good selection of books to English-speakers in Montpellier and surrounding areas.

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I have travelled a lot around our beautiful planet, learning different ways to think, behave and enjoy life. I went backpacking in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. I have lived in Ireland, Spain, and New Zealand. With all of this, I experienced all different aspects of international mobility, positive and negative. Challenging situations such as the difficulty of finding quality work, being a foreigner with a different and sensitive nature, being misunderstood, and the loneliness of being an expat’s wife. Conversely, there are many enjoyable moments as well, such as my maternity experience in New Zealand and how the mélange of culture affected my soul. This is this experience I would like to share with you: my beautiful experience among the Maori People.

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