Week three has been long, vibrant and unusually sunny. All week long, amongst friends, teachers and my host family, I remarked that it was like “l’été qui revient” (summer was coming back).
The beautiful weather tempted me outdoors and spawned some blissful wandering. In the warm newfound glow of sunlight, I noticed that Rennes (and
Brittany as well) is full of a multitude of cool colored doors. Seeing these doors as I went about my daily routine made me think about how this trip is like I’ve opened a door into a bright, new world full of the interesting new experiences, opportunities and people that make up a year abroad.
Like Resident Director Mr. Brochu has often said this week, we’ve passed the two week mark, the average duration for a tourist’s stay in France. With the end of week three, my SYA classmates and I are now full fledged new inhabitants of this wonderful vivid city called Rennes.
In that vein, this lovely week culminated with our first school trip. My classmates and I headed west with all of our full-time teachers to explore our new world: Bretagne (aka Brittany), specifically the departments of Morbihan and Finistère. Our first day of the voyage took us to an old Gothic cathedral, a
sculpture-filled château and le Musée des Beaux Arts (where we learned about the influence of Breton paintings and their interaction with other well known French painters). The next day, we went to Pointe du Raz, the westernmost point of France and a great place for mountain goats like myself to climb the rocks. Since I’ve basically followed this group of 75 SYA-ers and co. to the end of the world and back, I guess I could say we’re bonding :).
On Sunday, our last day of the trip, we visited a Miro exhibition. A Spanish surrealist, Miro was not only a painter but a sculptor as well. My Art History teacher beautifully summed up Miro’s artistic mentality by saying, “Miro plays art like others play music.” Miro’s paintings express feelings of playful wonder and often represent a subtle analysis of his tortured psyche.
In a prime example of the kind of surrealism that emerged from the abstraction of the often nature-focused impressionist paintings, Miro’s work often appears as an homage to nature with some visible aboriginal/primitive influences. His paintings are known for their use of vibrant primary colors that coincide with the themes of childish abandon and dealing with ones inner demons from under the bed that can be found in many of Miro’s paintings.
To me, the vivid fluidity and playfulness apparent in both Miro’s sculptures and paintings served as an appropriate capstone to this colorful week of exploration.