GARDEN OF ALCINOOS
After an active life as a business manager in the South East of France, Philippe Michelot settled as a farmer in 1999 in Saint Rémy de Provence.
Great-grandson of Doubs farmers and winemakers from Bourgogne , he wanted to find the scents, colors and rhythms of his childhood holidays on the family farm.
So he bought this agricultural estate and he revived the Mas des Figues with the planting of 1000 olive trees, vineyards, a vegetable garden, an orchard, pastures ...
And right in the heart of the property of the guest house, he created a botanical garden with 4000 plants of roses.
For you, what is the link between culture and agriculture?
At the same time that I gave life back to agriculture, I took part in sculpture and pottery workshops. It takes time to tame the material, to feel it.
With time, the land gives vegetables, fruits. With time, the pasture grass becomes milk, meat.
With time, a block of clay, a block of stone, reeds become artistic works. The peasant works the land to feed his body, the artist works the land to feed his spirit.
And I became an artist from raw material, neglected matter, forgotten. I recover here and there. It speaks to me. In the manner of Arte Povera.
The garden of Alcinoos, what is it?
In my garden I tell the story of a life with my artistic creations put here and there. Creating this garden was for me a need, an initiatory journey to the quest for "I".
This garden, I named it "Alcinoos" with reference to Ulysses and his Odyssey across the Mediterranean. We cross the beautiful rose gardens, the water garden, the garden of simple, the cloister with olive trees, the artists' greenhouse ...
And here we discover a tree sculpture, there a totem with 4 faces, further from the giant spheres that fly in the wind. It is like a place of dream and meditation, One settles there and, comfortably seated, one admires the garden and one lets go.
As the Spanish poet Antonio Machado says: "no hay camino es caminado that hace el camino" "there is no way, it is while walking that one builds his way" "it is going towards the sea that the rivers are faithful to their source "'Heraclitus