Churches are Art Galleries – Saint-Merry Example
Walking near the artsy Centre Georges Pompidou, I felt an urge to walk into a church. The Eglise Saint-Merry is an example that churches are art galleries. They are using the space for art exhibitions while the interior of Saint-Merry undergoes restoration of its niches and paintings. One exhibition is underwater, Caravaggio-style photography and the other, wood and cardboard sculptures.
Underwater photographer, Christy Lee Rogers is showing her series “Human”. Although the images appear to be paintings, they are photographs replacing certain paintings under restoration.
Her work was chosen because of a baroque resemblance to Caravaggio (Caravage) using light, color, fabric, clothing and the body with the Chiaroscuro (Clair-obscur) – the strong contrast of light against dark – technique. Browser searching her name she explains her techniques in a video. I am amazed by the originality and will return before the exposition closes in April. I recommend watching the videos on her website of how Ms. Rogers makes this painting effect happen.
The Eglise Saint-Merry is hosting two exhibitions for Paul Walker Hamy. The manger scene (crèche) scene will disappear, but the the wood series has no end date.
For the nativity scene, a circle of imagery pops out powerfully. The magi look toward the creche of a new born. To the left is a stained-glass window of mother and the child as a growing up. Behind the magi is the Pieta when the child is a departed soul in the arms of his mother.
The other sculptures are constructed with recycled wood from Paris parks and gardens. La Dormeuse is based on the sideways head sculpture nest to Eglise Saint-Eustache. Mr. Hamy wove them together during the first Paris confinement 2020. Until recently, his wood sculptures were originally shown on the Place Edmond-Michelet in front of the Pompidou Center and now call Eglise Saint-Merry home.