Perhaps you don’t yet know Marie and Jérémy Savel and their photography gallery? A traditional gallery in some ways, but with a bit of a difference, offering visitors an exhibition that is like a window onto different facets of Cantal landscape and life. The couple share a real passion for photography and a visit to see Jérémy’s photographs at their gallery that opened in November 2017 in the heart of the village of Polminhac, is an opportunity to discover the area’s beautiful scenery. I went along to meet them at their gallery and believe me, it is well worth a visit!
Marie and Jérémy made the decision to stay in Polminhac, where Marie was actually born, to keep a warm and authentic feel to their gallery. Around them, there are a few small shops and you can feel a lovely community spirit in the village where everyone knows each other. “We love saying hello to the shopkeepers around us in the morning and everyone looks out for each other”, explains Marie. The couple very much wanted to stay closely attached to their village and this is also a unique feature of the gallery.
Jérémy and Marie moved into the building in 2017, a site with a lot of history behind it and a tale or two to tell. They have lovingly restored their home and gallery and succeeded in making their own special mark on the place, yet still in perfect keeping with the building’s original features. Open stonework, black walls and photographs in every nook and cranny! It isn’t difficult to see how much they both love Cantal and the landscapes through Jérémy’s eyes reveal a very special dimension. As I slowly wander round the gallery, I am in complete admiration of his photographs that showcase so well the beauty of this area. His work includes summits such as the emblematic Puy Mary or Puy Griou but also hidden tracks and footpaths. Marie tells me with a smile how “enjoying Jérémy’s photographs is like going on a journey”. As I contemplate his work, I come to understand how true this is. A moment spent visiting the gallery is like a journey of (re)discovery of the area! The couple are pleased to talk about their work, offering a sort of guided tour of Cantal. It doesn’t matter if we know the spots or not, the experience is an absolute joy! What’s also good is the way the gallery interior has been designed to change and evolve, adapting to the work being exhibited and the passage of the seasons. There’s something new to enjoy every time you stop by.
This gallery is the result of months of hard work: the couple had to renovate the house, create a photography studio on the first floor and the gallery on the ground floor. Then there was the garden that also needed hours of care and attention to get it just how they wanted. As I listen to Jérémy and Marie telling me about all their work, I am struck by their love and pride in having achieved this together. The renovation work isn’t quite finished and indeed, as we chat, I get the distinct feeling that they have other ideas of things to do and new projects for the future.
It was lovely meeting Marie and Jérémy, both with a great sense of humour, keen ideas and loads of energy. They make a great team and the visit of the gallery is even better with their personal remarks and commentaries of the photographs. Listening to Jérémy talking about his work, you can feel his passion and love for photography. As he describes the work involved, it makes you want to join him along the tracks and paths, to watch him capture fleeting moments where the light and landscape create a truly unique scene. Self-taught, Jérémy has created his own individual style and there is no doubt that you will be moved by his work.
Marie and Jérémy are pleased to welcome you in their gallery every day and are open late during the summer months (on appointment). Stop by and embark on an original visit of Cantal.
le 20 February 2019