In 2018, in the village of 330 inhabitants of Pierrefitte-sur-Aire, in Meuse, a group of residents, members of the municipal council, decided to mobilize to develop a newly created square following the destruction of obsolete buildings. They wished to allow the population to gather in a friendly way and to celebrate together their attachment to their environment, especially the nearby forest. Much more than just a simple development of the square, which would be a public works project, it is through the creation of a generous artwork that they wanted to see this project take shape.
To carry it out, the mayor of the municipality associated with these inhabitants called on Vent des Forêts, an art centre located a few kilometres away and mediator of the New Patrons' action of Fondation de France, which proposed, following several meetings, the artist Noel Varoqui.
In Pierrefitte-sur-Aire, the large free walls overlooking the square inspired La Révérence (The Reverence), which consists of a large mural painting and a landscaped garden. The artist has proposed a motif of undergrowth, often painted at night, and large white drapes emerging from the foliage, all in shades of grey. With regard to the painting, he entirely thought of the landscaping of the square by selecting trees (charm, country maple, birch...), shrubs (dogwood, elderberry, hawthorn...) and perennials with white flowers (asperula, woodland anemone, valerian...) thus creating a coherent whole that offers, throughout the seasons, an ever-changing experience.
In the heart of the village, La Révérence offers a space for contemplation and encounters for the inhabitants. It reaffirms the link that unites them and that has enabled this creation to come into being. It allows them to recognize themselves in an artistic achievement that radiates the territory beyond its immediate perimeter.
Noel Varoqui is born in 1982. He lives and works in Lahaymeix. Graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art et de Design of Nancy, he attended Anke Doberauer's painting workshop in Munich. His painting practice revolves around the still life genre in large-format oil on canvas works. Its palette of colours and its favourite motifs (folds, abundance of plants, night scenes...), claim a share of melancholy and are in keeping with the tradition of vanity painting.