Paintings & Drawings from Les Bassacs
7-28 May 2015
Private View Wednesday 6th May 6-8pm
Mark Cazalet has been making artwork in
response to his visits to the small hamlet of
Les Bassacs in the Luberon Valley, Vaucluse
for nearly 20 years. This beautiful location has
captivated his imagination with its brilliant
light and distinctive aromatic fragrance.
The architecture of the woodland has been a reoccurring theme for his work, influenced by the Romantic
English landscape tradition as well as the poetry of Philip Larkin, Dylan Thomas and Robert Frost. In his
new work Mark Cazalet aims to capture a sense of place, both in the contours of the landscape itself as
well as in the subtler emotional essence of his memories.
Six years ago, during a teaching excursion to Les
Bassacs, he began working at dawn to draw the
effects of the first rays of the sun on the foliage. In
the evenings, after his classes were over for the day,
he found there to be a good moon, so at night he
continued drawing. This habit of dawn and dusk
drawings formalised into a routine over that period.
He took to the idea of imagining that the dawn
drawings were a kind of Matins focused around a
song of thanks for a new day, Mary’s Magnificat. The
Dusk drawings were equally a leave taking of the
light and celebration of a day closing. They became
Simeon’s Nunc Dimitis.
These meditative intentions made the works into a kind of graphic mindfulness exercise, a period of
contemplation at the beginning and end of the day. The results of this period of ritualised working will be
showing at Curwen Gallery this May.
Images: part of Les Basaacs Autumn series, chalk on coloured paper, 25 x 65cm