Sunday, October 02, 2011

Ochre Dreams

I intended to combine Roussillon and Gordes, two of the premier hill towns in Provence, in a single entry. But when I started sorting the images two distinct themes emerged; Roussillon through its rich palette of pigmented color and Gordes through the prism of tourism.  Here's
Roussillon in living color.












The village sits atop ochre colored cliffs from which seventeen painting pigments were mined.  The Conservatoire des Ocres housed in former ochre factory shows the extraction process, displays dyed fabrics, holds painting workshops and sells some 50 pigments with the most subtle gradations imaginable.  While the ocher industry moved elsewhere in 1930 its rich presence permeates Roussillon to this day.