Although the Loire River no longer looks as it did in W.M.Turner’s day, it continues to inspire artistic endeavor.
For three months this summer, running for 40 miles along the river will be more than 40 installations created by an international cadre of artists. Visit http://www.estuaire.info/.
Artists including Anish Kapoor and Daniel Buren will install what we’re told will be a “lively, fun and unusual” variety of works in the cities and ports, on the riverbanks, on the water -- and even in the water -- to build a geographic and symbolic link between Nantes ando St Nazaire, two cities which share a common history of shipbuilding.
The works include “an 80 foot duck, astonishing feats of architecture, dramatic fountains and a floating house,” all of which can be viewed free of charge.
One way to see the river’s landscapes, its cultural and historic heritage, and the installations themselves will be to take a three-hour river cruise on a specially-built mirrored boat, while listening to the audio-guided tour designed by the artists (available in English and French).
Alternatively, the area is wonderful to explore on foot or by bicycle.
Not going to the Loire Valley this summer? Not to worry … you can start planning now to see the repeat of The Loire Estuary Project in 2009 and 2011!