Out of competition 2021 in Cap d'Ail

A stage for writers

A garden designed and produced by the Green Spaces Department of the City of Cap d’Ail.

- Real size picture, .JPG 2.18Mo (Modal window)© Davy Pichardie – Mairie de Cap d’Ail


The Garden, a Stage for Writers, at the Villa Les Camélias.

Cap d’Ail, summer 1942: André Malraux and his partner Josette Clotys were staying at the Villa Les Camélias, and invited the author Suzanne Chantal and André Gide, at that time André Malraux's official proof-reader. Nowadays the site houses a museum and during the festival it is hosting the exhibition of poet Sabine Péglion and artist Cyrile Destrade: "Dream Gardens, Dreams of Gardens."

The first scene of the "artists' garden" evokes a conversation between Gide and Malraux, immortalised by a photograph which has become famous. A site-specific installation, "as if we were there" reproduces this scene, in the shade of a majestic carob tree, the tree of the Mediterranean, where two large empty garden chairs summon the ghosts of two "sacred monsters." The huge bed of agapanthus, then in full bloom, offers bunches of blue and white flowers and accompanies "travellers" on their further progress.

They cross the alley edged with the vivid colours of plants and flowers, and enjoy the perspectives they seek. They listen to the rustling of the leaves and the song of the birds of Spring. Taking a comfortable seat on the chairs and cushions placed near the olive trees, they are intoxicated with the fragrance of the species which surround them and devote themselves to contemplation for a few moments. They can then appreciate the extent to which the garden is a source of inspiration for the artist-writer. Then, a bit further on, there is an original reading corner which was conceived for them under the pre-existing gazebo. This apparently mineral layout has become a pop-up plant library, composed by the landscape gardener, and thought out like a real work of art.

The creative space which closes a visit to the garden allows the person, who has in turn been a spectator, contemplator and reader, to give free rein to the imagination and also become an artist, for a time.


A garden designed and produced by the Green Spaces Department of the City of Cap d’Ail.

Access to the gardens depends on the sanitary measures in force.