École des filles

Opening hours From July to September, l'école des filles, art space located in Brittany, brings together authors, artists through exhibitions and events with public

Summer 2009, Gallery Françoise Livinec set up in l'Ecole des filles in Huelgoat, Brittany. Built in 1910, the school overlooks the « granitic Chaos », huge moss covered granite boulders, in the forest that inspired poets and artists. Nowadays renovated, it becomes an art space.

2022 Opening hours
From August 3rd to August 28th:
Wednesday to Sunday, 2pm to 7pm
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« It's a pretty school, typical of Jules Ferry time, harmony between the granite buildings surrounding the playground full of lime trees, nostalgia of the gone time that steeped in its walls. This model of construction was used in the whole country from 1882 and shows the general enthusiasm to create these schools of the Republic ; linked to a ideal of progress, the free and obligatory education brought a true change in the countryside in which people don't speak French.

This « Communal school for girls » as the engraved on the pediment writing proudly announces it, has seen the first generation of girls sent to school, these young farmers' daughters with a scowl, cowed models for the painter Paul Sérusier who liked their clumsiness. Next to the legendary woods, it looks like a castle, enclosed by its ramparts, and dominates the granite rocks as an echo to the camp of Artus with a millennium memory. Huelgoat is a magical place, these woods full of rock blocks have attracted painters and poets ; Paul Sérusier and Victor Segalen, looking for primitivism, found their inspiration here. During summers 1891 and 1892, Sérusier stayed in Huelgoat, at the Hotel Le Bihan, he worked on applying the lesson of Gauguin with his painter friends, Dutch Jan Verkade, Danish Mogens Ballin and ceramicist Rasetti. This place, full of history since the mine exploitation in the Roman time until the arrival of the first British tourists in the 19th century, slowly felt asleep during the 20th century. Its beauty is still intact, you have to wake up the sleeping beauty !

Bringing it back to life by opening it to artists of our time is in the harmony of the place, Huelgoat can be attractive to nowadays plastic artists and this abandoned school at the edge of the wood is a marvellous place to go to, in which everyone can give free rein to his imagination. But that's not the only thing, the idea is to mix painters from the 19th and the 20th centuries to contemporaries, to mix times to create a transversal vision, each time reinforcing the other one. Comparing history to the present in a same place of exhibition is a current approach that offers a new perspective on unexpected resemblances and that causes many surprises. Create from nothing in a place rich of memory reminds me of my own experience when the Museum of Pont-Aven opened in 1985 without any collection, with walls, only walls, and the weight of a prestigious past as a legacy.

I've lived the anxiety of the beginning and the rush of adrenalin facing the risks to take, the obligation to be up to the expectations, doubt, scepticism and the incredulity of the majority of people but also the unfailing support of a handful of motivated people and the euphoria to embark on what seemed to be an utopia. With this situation similarity, I share the emotion of the adventure in Huelgoat and of its creator Françoise Livinec.

Sérusier wrote : « I feel more and more attracted by Brittany, my real homeland because my spirit was born there ». May the spirit keep blowing nowadays ! »

Catherine Puget, Ancienne conservatrice du Musée de Pont-Aven