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Overseas Festivals

International Festival d’Art Singulier – Roquevaire – Aubagne
Provence, France

This Festival was initiated in 1990 as the brainchild of Danielle Jacqui (Celle qui peint – She who paints), one of the best-known French ‘outsider’ artists (or in the French vernacular ‘artistes singuliers’).

With the help of many of her fellow ‘artistes singuliers’ in the Provence region, including such famous names as Raymond Reynaud, she has seen the Festival grow into one of the premier ‘outsider’ art events in France, attracting artists from all of Europe and overseas.

6th International Festival d’Art Singulier - Roquevaire

This was my first participation in the Festival. With the assistance of a small grant from Arts Queensland I travelled to France with my husband and attended the Festival where I exhibited a group of twelve works on paper. In honour of the Millenium the scope of the Festival had been enlarged to include invited overseas artists including a number with international reputations.

It was a real thrill to find my works being shown beside those of people like Albert Louden, Nek Chand, Chris Hipkiss, Damian and Delaine Lebas, Mose Tolliver and Malcolm McKessen - and of course Danielle Jacqui and Raymond Reynaud.

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7th International Festival d’Art Singulier - Roquevaire

The Seventh and most recent Festival held in October 2002 involved the participation of over 300 artists. Designed as a celebration of ‘art postal’ (mail art) the Festival was divided into two main sections – two-dimensional items (envelopes) and three-dimensional (sculptural) works, plus a special section for artists’ ‘carnets’ (workbooks).
I contributed to all three sections and found the experience both challenging and stimulating - it was in these works that the “Ancestors” theme that was to figure so strongly in most of my work since then, first emerged.

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First for Spain - El Arte Singular, Zaragoza 2001

Following my participation in the 6th International Festival d’Art Singulier, Roquevaire-Aubagne I was privileged to be the only Australian among 82 artists chosen to take part in the first-ever major exhibition of ‘outsider’ art in Spain - El Arte Singular, Zaragoza 2001.

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Mail Art - ‘Art Postal’

In 2000 during our stay in Aubagne I became aware for the first time of mail art, or as the French term it ‘art postal’. This art form has long been highly regarded in France, by ‘outsider’ artists in particular. probably due to its inherently celebratory and non-commercial nature.

In addition to the well-established custom amongst artists of exchanging greetings in this way (birthdays, Christmas, New Year etc) there are also a number of regular festivals featuring mail art.

For many years the French Postal Service has prided itself in taking special care of ‘art postal’ works sent through the post - it has a special section devoted to ‘art postal’ and its own museum of postal art.

Since first venturing into this area in 2002 I have derived great pleasure from taking part in a number of other mail art festivals in France. In the near future I am hopeful that it may be possible to stimulate interest in the promotion of similar international festivals here in Australia for this exciting and eclectic art form.

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6th International Festival d'Art Singulier (2000)
7th International Festival D'Art Singulier (2002)
El Arte Singular, Zaragoza (2001)
  Catalogue 7th Exposition Internationale Art Postal, Pézenas (2002)  





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