Driftwood sculpture

Driftwood sculpture is very popular, but it’s not always successful. Lately, I stumbled upon one in Sallenelles in Normandy and I was stunned by its beauty and the metaphor it depicted.

I love sculpture, my readers know already about that, I have published a good number of posts on statuary et al, but here is sculpture of another kind, anything between land-art and statuary, taken at Sallenelles, a stone’s through from Merville, a place of History where one can visit the fort of Merville. The whole area is marked with what happened with the June 44 landings.

A Dakota at Merville. It was named “the SNAFU special.” For those who don’t know, SNAFU is a bit of a joke and it means: “Situation Normal All F***ed up” meaning there’s no need to moan, nothing is working as planned and it’s perfectly normal. Certainly with Operation Overlord, absolutely nothing worked as planned, in that area at least.

Driftwood sculpture in Sallenelles

You must picture thousands of soldiers being parachuted in this area which had been turned into marshlands by Marshal Rommel. He had ordered the dikes of the river Orne to be destroyed, thousands of soldiers drowned while landing and only a handful of brave men — the commander was an Irishman of French descent — took the fort. There, one can see a Dakota from the US Air Force similar to those which were used during Operation Overlord as it was called.

Today the area is so peaceful it’s hard to picture the scene.

Driftwood sculpture
Nowadays, the banks of the river Orne are peaceful and the perfect place for a stroll in the countryside

Buttercups and driftwood

Driftwood sculpture
buttercups all over the place in Spring in Normandy

The area isn’t just conducive to rambles though, there’s art as well. Little did I know about that initiative as we stumbled upon this beautiful driftwood sculpture. The so-called house of Nature and the estuary of river Orne is a not for profit organisation which is planning to install many land art sculptures in their back garden. Strangely enough, their non-translated website isn’t mentioning anything about the event, let alone the name of the artist. Yet I was stunned by the beauty of this land art sculpture. Besides, I loved the metaphor of freedom (driftwood), put in a cage and out of its natural element. A metaphor for today and the past two years we’ve been through.

Driftwood sculpture
Driftwood sculpture in Sallenelles at the beginning of the estuary of the river Orne
Driftwood sculpture
Driftwood is plentiful on the marshy banks of the river Orne. No wonder an artist has had the idea of making a sculpture with this
Driftwood sculpture
The lighthouse of Ouistreham seen from afar with my 300mm zoom. It looks like it’s close but it takes 10 miles to cycle back down south to Pegasus Bridge (another WWII landmark) and North again to reach the other end of the estuary for there isn’t a bridge.
Driftwood sculpture
A final look at this beautiful inspiring and symbolic sculpture

If you have a chance to be there in June, you should be able to see more of these land art sculptures.

Yann Gourvennec
Latest posts by Yann Gourvennec (see all)
Prev Postmodern modernist architecture in Montsouris
Next The sculptor who gives life to bronzes and marbles
%d bloggers like this: