By LINCOLN SILIAKUS
The new airy cellar of the Cave Cooperative at Rasteau has a room designed as an art gallery, which is terrific for local artists whose works hang aesthetically on its rough limestone walls. The Coop has taken the name Ortas as its umbrella brand: it’s apparently a simplified anagram of Rasteau. As I sip their delightful and affordable wines, I frequently think of Orcas, those large, pied, toothy dolphins that snap up cute little seals frolicking in the surf. Anyway…
The generosity of Ortas towards artists has been rewarded nicely by Nathalie Weber, a well-known artist from nearby Villedieu, who has reciprocated by designing a « Landscapes and Poetry » exhibition specifically for the cellar. She specifically painted works to fit into the site.
The room features a large screen with videos of the vines taken from a slow helicopter. Nathalie has installed paintings on either side of the screen which take up the feeling of movement through an essentially green landscape. On the opposite wall, an enormous 2-part piece of many whites and creams, energetic yet calm, blends in perfectly with the lumps of limestone behind it.
And, best of all, Nathalie uses wine for her paintings. That is; she uses a cork to roll out the paint in some of her works.
Her paintings will remain at Ortas until 6 April. It’s at the foot of the village.