A group of students on Cas Holmes’s recent course at Studio Préniac were lucky enough to stumble on a fascinating exhibition at the Grenier du Chapitre Gallery in Cahors on their day off.
Taking full advantage of the vaulted ceilings, the work of artist Guy Houdouin has created atmospheric impact in this ancient and unique space.
Houdouin works with brown wrapping paper which he paints on both sides. The paper is then cut into strips, and then woven and plaited.
The woven strips are then assembled into giant lacy networks, often spiraling outwards from the centre, reminiscent of Native American “dream catchers” or the adornment of an unknown but ancient primitive culture.
Pieces are hung free form from the ceiling, the loose ends of the plaits twisting and hanging erratically.
A more controlled, circular form has been used for the smaller, wall hung pieces, creating a wandering labyrinth of intricate woven strips.
The works are both experimental and expressive, with an organic sense of rhythm enhanced by the deep yellows, ochres and reds of the papers, mingled with blues.
Originally, Houdouin couldn’t make up his mind whether to become an artist or a priest, and his work echos his strong sense of spirituality.
The Grenier du Chapitre can be accessed through the cloister garden of the Cathedrale St Etienne in the centre of Cahors.