Modern art at Nançay . Church

Placed in the heart of the village, the Saint-Laurian church, Nançay, is not radiated by its extraordinary architecture or even by its rich medieval past. It is also the second church in the village, built between 1624 and 1628, while the oldest is not far from the center of the village, attached to the castle. But the sound emitted by the building’s bell disturbed the ruler who made the decision to move the place of worship a little further. The new building, which dates back to the 17th century, was destroyed by fire in 1893 and completely rebuilt. The symbol of this final reconstruction, the exquisite wooden frame with the painted entrance, is a rarity in the department, which can be explained by the church’s young age.
Christ on the Cross by Joseph Pyrz

The Saint-Laurian Church is special, because of the choice of works and decorations that adorn it. Behind the altar, a wooden statue, created by Polish artist Joseph Pyrz, represents Christ on the cross, with a haircut reminiscent of dreadlocks. The altar, meanwhile, is covered with copper jewellery, created by artist Berruyer and coppersmith by profession, Bernard Delagrange.

Contemporary wall painting

The most interesting and intriguing part of the church is the mural, which was created by local artist Montaine Fleurier.
His work, which was unveiled in 2010, is the fruit of years of hard work and administrative procedures to cover the walls of the church.
It took him almost four years to get the authorization to do the work, a whole year to restore the church walls he was about to cover and three years to complete the painting. The latter attracts the attention of visitors with its form and representation, far from what is usually found in religious buildings. Created with the theme of cloth and weaving, this work aims to connect the “community of destiny, between culture and society”.

The painted church at Berry: Charly, between the Middle Ages and the 19th century

The different characters present in the three enclosed walls range from Moses, depicted as a baby inside a pomegranate, Eve as a child running away from heaven or even the Virgin Mary. Two doors, drawn at the ends of the painting, allow different characters to enter the work and “walk towards happiness”. Another striking detail: large flax leaves are represented. The latter is a tribute to the materials used in the creation of the first Bible. For the artist, the painting should not be explained even though it is highly referenced. For him, “when you see it, you create your own story with your own imagination”.

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This is also an important difference with the work of the medieval period. Where before paintings and stained-glass windows were used to tell literal stories, generated from sacred texts, this one is read in a much more contemporary and liberal way.
The Bourges guide’s office pays a visit to the church of Saint-Laurian de Nançay on September 8 at 4 pm, for those who wish to learn more about the place and its works.

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Antoine Olle

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