|Marion Buricatu, Fine Artist|
I was just back from France, after spending time on the Atlantic coast in Royan, and my mind was still full of the soft light of this beautiful region called "Charente" and the historical town of Royan, which is connected to the US in a sad kind of way. I was on the look out for inspiration to create an art piece that would depict these two ideas. The opportunity was given to me by Debbie, one of my painting students, who wanted to paint a beach scene. After brainstorming, I settled on a central motif with shells and a collage background of the sea. The whole piece would accurately render the softness of the Charente light. The postcard theme and the stamps make the connection with the US.
Before World War II, Royan was a famous seaside resort of "La Belle Epoque". But in 1945, Royan was destroyed by US allied bombers, who had been told by mistake that nobody was left in Royan but Germans. They bombed the town out of existence, killing 2,700 civilians with napalm.
After the war, the town of Royan took the opportunity to rebuild the town with a contemporary, futuristic style called the "rationalist" style, inspired by the architects Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer. Reconstruction of Royan was completed in 1968, and this modern and unique architectural style became well known in France and in the world. A real "research laboratory about urbanism", properly called "The school of Royan". What a story! And this is where I go every summer!