The granite houses, the sky, the sea, time that stands still… How can you not be inspired in such a setting? Whichever island you visit, be sure to explore the local galleries and discover the works of local artists.
Living on the island where they show their work, these artists know and feel better than anyone the very particular climate of these places that are so far from - and yet so close to - the mainland. From the quaysides of the Île de Sein to the marvellous botanical gardens on Batz, discover the charms of Finistère’s islands through the eyes of their painters.
Here is a selection of artistic addresses for you to discover:
Les Jardins de la Chimère jewellery on Île Molène
Come and admire this collection of jewellery created on Molène and unmistakably inspired by the sea. They are created using abalone shells, which have been shaped and set in delicate metalwork by the talented Lydie Colleau.
Algalys: a line of organic marine cosmetics from Molène
Discover a line of beauty products developed on Île Molène using seaweed from the archipelago, harvested using traditional methods then treated. The resulting seaweed extracts are employed according to their specific properties to offer a very large range of treatments.
NividiSkin laboratory on Ouessant
An expert in marine dermo-cosmetics, the NividiSkin laboratory develops a wide range of seaweed-based products, using seaweed as an active ingredient. They soothe and regenerate skin made fragile by the sun, the cold and pollution. Their star product is the balm ‘baume tempête’.
Claudie Prigent Gallery on Île Ouessant
Claudie Prigent is a painter whose workshop and gallery are located in the market town of Lampaul. Here, you can see her beautiful depictions of Ouessant, as well as sheep, swimmers and colourful characters. The sea often features in her work.
L’Abri du Mouton, craftshop on Ouessant
Traditional Ouessant curtains (or a kit for you to make yourself), amusing mobiles of super-soft sheep, woollen and wooden sheep, quirky earrings and jewellery… you’ll be astonished and inspired by the range of sheep-themed crafts on offer in this pretty ‘Sheep Shelter’ boutique in the heart of Île Ouessant.
Brigitte Conan’s workshop
This artist draws inspiration from the sea, particularly the waves. She seeks to capture the moment when the wave clashes with the earth, the rocks and the islands.
Her technique uses lacquer that transforms her canvases into shining, mirror-like surfaces.
You can find her workshop at 8 rue Estienne d'Orves, in the main centre of the Île de Sein.
The Café-workshop of Didier Marie Le Bihan on the Île de Sein
This artist, who has lived for many years on the Île de Sein, paints real-life objects, in particular still life. He combines modern techniques with ancient methods, such as 15th century Flemish painting, to lend a particular luminosity to his canvases.
His gallery also shows work by Christelle Le Dortz. This ceramic artist trained with Nathalie Derouet and settled on the island in 2011. Her stoneware and especially her porcelain pieces focus on pure, minimalist forms.
Didier Marie Le Bihan’s Café-workshop is in Le Lenn, in the centre of the island towards the old Gueveur foghorn.
La tête en l'air, workshop on Ouessant
When the trees are few and far between, as is the case on Ouessant, the wind becomes a resident in its own right on the island. Mischievous, capricious and often unpredictable, learning to understand the wind is an art in which Ouessant residents excel. Located on the Pointe du Créac’h, the workshop ‘La tête en l’air’ (from the French expression for ‘head in the clouds’) shows its creations of handmade weathervanes, a speciality that you won’t find anywhere else.
Indeed, weathervanes are an integral part of the architecture of local houses, as each Ouessant chimney has two pierced stones that are used to hold a weathervane. While Ouessant weathervanes are recognisable thanks to their rectangular form and their texture, ‘La tête en l’air’ also creates completely personalised weathervanes based on all manner of suggestions. The only limit is your imagination.