Tuesday, March 15, 2011

L'île Callot

The rain stopped, and tide went out, and we walked across the causeway to Callot.  

There is something liminal and tantalising about islands accessible at low tide, with their causeways which appear and disappear.  Short of staying here, at least for the twelve hours between tides, or perhaps using a small boat, you can't really have a sense of this as an island, but more as a straggle of sandy outcrop, rock and mussel beds extending from the peninsular of Carentec.

The chapel, it's said, has been a place of pilgrimage for more than a thousand years, the corsaires sailing out of Morlaix to do battle with the English would salute it as they passed with a cannonshot,

and clearly it's much frequented and gifted with votives and artworks still; one of the plaques on the wall above was for a fisherman lost at sea in 2004.

 I couldn't find out anything about the painting above however, one of a pair.

A lovely walk, and another corner of the bay to explore.


Rouchswalwe said...

Looking at these photos, I have a feel for the witchy trees and what they see. No wonder they're all twisty with excitement and wonder!

Dale said...

How lovely. What a compelling painting that is! What was the other like?

Clive Hicks-Jenkins said...

What a magical place, with that extraordinary chapel tower looking as though it's de-camped from Venice! Love the painting too, in its splendidly ornate frame. Hard to know whether it was done recently or in the 1920s, but it has great character.

In Cornwall I once rode on a horse to an island cut off at high tide, and delaying for too long before returning to the mainland, for an exciting but all too brief thirty yards or so, the horse swam for shore with me sliding from the saddle to swim beside her.

Roderick Robinson said...

Had to look up liminal and was briefly astonished not to find it. Then felt a fool when I realised you were playing the Wodehouse (gruntled/disgruntled) game. Decided to inveigh (not used this current decade) against the practice but stayed my hand. Like most words that contain l, and this contains two, it has an elegant sinuous life of its own and deserves an existence. But I still feel a clodhopper.

I was disappointed, as I'm sure you were, that there were no further details about what I take to be some kind of Madonna (Though why two babes?). With one or two Impressionist exceptions confident modern art doesn't often end up in churches and I wouldn't mind having this one myself. The BBs now do a church tour for incoming guests which starts at Ledbury, proceeds to Malvern and ends at Pershore, all familiar territory to you. For those strong in their faith we add in the following day Kilpeck which has some ambiguous stone carvings ("I believe they appear to be dancing," is one on-the-fence judgment). Alas, I usually forget to take photos which is why I'm such a frequent visitor to Box Elder.

The great thing about Brittany is that it has throwaway bays like this which don't form part of official tourisme and thus don't attract so many lines of glittering Peugeots of a summer afternoon. The other great thing is you're there to record all this for us stay-at-home Brits. Another ten years and you'll be entitled to wear one those modest little ribbons in your lapel, courtesy of the Elysée Palace.

Lucy said...

Thanks chaps.

Dale - I'm afraid I didn't take a shot of the other painting, it was clearly the same artist but the scene was rather unclear, busier, I don't remember it very well anyway, and it was in a darker corner, so I suppose I thought it wouldn't photograph well and didn't pay it as much attention... another time, I'm sure we'll go back.

I was experiencing odd reactions to a lot of the church-based stuff we saw, having trouble engaging with it, I realise now. Perhaps more on that later.

Clive, on reflection I think you might have been a rather good companion to some of these places. We went to St Herve's birthplace too (though I didn't know it was until after). I love your horse story, how exciting! They say the tides at Mt St Michel race in faster than a galloping horse.

BB - The two babes puzzled me too, especially as they look rather like dollies. I love Kilpeck, my brother used to do cultural tours there when he lived in Gloucs. The Sheila-na-gig is most notorious of course, but I like the dog and the bunny too, and all of it really. Now it seems to be on the telly every five minutes in programmes about Brtiish art and churches and sculpture.

Re modern art in churches, I suppose it tends to be the bigger places, in general, cathedrals etc, who commission it, not little churches and chapel, though there are exceptions, and stained glass is often worth looking out for. Clive, above, has some marvellous work in many an ecclesiastical and religious context.

I wasn't playing drop-the-prefix with liminal. Oddly, the spell checker doesn't recognise it either, but I had the impression it's become such a buzz word, like 'palimpsest' and (since Auden) 'numinous', especially in the writing of and about poetry, of recent times, that I almost fight shy of using it as being a bit hackneyed. I suppose it just depends where you hang out...

I'm relying on you to put in a word for me for the Legion d'Honneur anyway!

Anne said...

I just googled liminal (by the way, the spell check doesn't know either googled or liminal). However, I found on Google many articles defining liminal. It means a sensory threshold. It's not a made up word.

(Aside -- I wonder if the spell check will ever learn Obama.)

Fire Bird said...

The stained glass light on the stone floor is delicious.

WV - waymetap

HKatz said...

Such beautiful serene pictures. Thanks for giving us a taste of these places.

marja-leena said...

Splendid looking place, and if it's as quiet as BB says, it sounds perfect for a visit. The painting is unusual and beautiful, and I just love that last photo, like a painting too!

Pilgrim at Kerjacob said...

Lovely to meet someone else living in Brittany.
I'll look forward to reading your blogs.

Diane. x