Viville Quilt Expo - September 2014
Two years on and again I found myself in Viville; this time my exhibition was in the 12 century church at Viville. I shared the space with Hilary Richardson who showed her contemporary quilts. There were also five quilts by Alison Bramley on show.
Viville / St. Médard Quilt Expo – July 2012
Following an article that I had published in the December 2011 issue of The Quilter I was contacted by Jane Rollason and asked if I would be willing to show my quilts at the Quilt Expo at Viville (16) France. I was delighted to be invited and as I could stay at our house in France not so far from Viville I readily accepted.
Jane organised her first quilt expo at Viville two years ago and this year the number of exhibition venues was increased to include the salle des fêtes and church at the neighbouring village of St. Médard de Barbezieux (16).
I was fortunate to be able to visit Jane at Viville in March and see the venues, so I had an idea of the space I would be given for my exhibition. Setting up my exhibition single-handed would have been a problem but fortunately a couple of good friends came and assisted me on the Thursday and eventually my quilts were hung. That evening we had the vernissage at Viville where we were all welcomed with a glass or two of the local Cognac – Schweppes and other drinks. After the speeches we all went to look at the exhibitions in the other venues.
In the large salle des fêtes at Viville the exhibitors were textile artists Jane Rollason, Pat Archibald, Gail Lawther and Ineke Berlin. There were two other exhibition venues at Viville one in the church and the other in the old salle des fêtes. The weather was good so visitors were able to sit outside the Viville salle des fêtes to rest awhile and enjoy light refreshments. A horse and carriage was on hand to ferry people 2 kilometres through the charming countryside between Viville and St Médard.
My exhibition was in a very pleasant, light, airy room at the church at St. Médard which suited my quilts well. Kay Horne had brought two quilt collections from Thanet Quilters to exhibit. Kay’s exhibition was in the main part of the church and it was really great for me to share her company. Kay’s husband Harry was a star, he organised coffee for us and did “the soup run” collecting and delivering our lunch each day. He also provided a c.d. player so that we could play some gentle background music during the exhibition days. In the nearby salle des fêtes at St Médard there was a wonderful exhibition of Egyptian quilts and the two traders were also based at this site.
The Viville Quilt Expo was open for three days Friday 20 – Sunday 22 July. Entrance was 4 € but locals were invited to come for free, come they did and interested they were! For me it was a very good experience. I don’t usually show my work at the big exhibitions because I have found that my quilts need to be exhibited as a collection and in their own space. For this reason the venue suited my needs very well. I spent all three days at my exhibition talking about my quilts to the many visitors, in both English and French. By the end of each day I had almost lost my voice!
The Viville experience reminded me of the early days of taking part in the Carrefour Européen in Alsace. The Carrefour has expanded so much and grown into a quilt show on a huge scale. It is now one of the major annual quilt shows in Europe. I hope Jane will repeat the Viville Quilt Expo it was fantastic for an event like this to be hosted by two little villages in the depths of rural France! To my mind “small is beautiful” and this was a lovely show providing a good mix of contrasting exhibitions. My thanks go to Jane, Michel her partner and to everyone involved.
© Gill Turley 2012 www.gillturley.co.uk
This article was published in Two's Company, newsletter for members of Region 2 of The Quilters' Guild - October 2012
Here are some pictures and comments from visitors to my exhibition at the Viville / St Médard Quilt Expo 2012
See also my Photos page