I wish I could add to the story of the prolific and ambitious artist Danielle Jacqui and her House of She Who Paints, but not being a French speaker I don’t know much beyond what’s been published in a few English-language venues, including a Raw Vision article here and a SPACES account by Jo Farb Hernández here.
But I do have photos from a serendipitous 2018 visit to her environment northeast of Marseille. We were going to do just a drive-by and take some pictures, but it happens that two friendly French ladies were arriving for a tour just when I was photographing the facade. They welcomed us along, and Jacqui was willing, so we got to go inside, with the official guests translating her commentary as best they could.
Jacqui’s environment is wedged into a row of houses on the busy highway through the small town of Rocquevaire in Provence, about 17 miles from Marseille. The outside is stunning enough, covered with mosaics, sculptures and paintings, but inside is mind boggling. The walls, ceilings and floors are all intensively decorated. Paintings are piled up, and sculptures are everywhere. It’s one of the most dense art experiences you’ll ever encounter.
If I knew French I could have understood the friendly and engaging Jacqui’s explanations and stories. She is one of those artists who, like Mr. Imagination and Lonnie Holley, came from outside the art world but has clearly developed into a sophisticated participant. Her work is no less obsessive for that, and parts of her environment, including not only the facade but places inside the house, like the red bedroom shown on the third page of the image gallery below, have the direct power and idiosyncratic vision typical of art brut creation.
Meanwhile, Jacqui had been working on a massive installation of her art at the train station in nearby Aubagne, but newly elected municipal authorities in 2014 declined the privilege of hosting it. The project has been relocated to La Ferme des Tilleuls, a new cultural center in Renens, Switzerland, west of Lausanne. More information on that installation here.
View from other roadside environments here.