Gascony is like a planet where time has stood still… thus starts Perry Taylor’s latest book of drawings. Every page presents a snapshot of life in the beautiful rural countryside and medieval villages of South West France, in the area known as Gascony.
Like his previous three books, Planète Gascogne has a ‘feel good’ factor, full of wit, wry humour and the pure joy of the simple pleasures of life that are enjoyed and revered in this most beautiful part of France, where it really does feel that modern life has somehow passed it by.
Wonderfully skilled at using pen and ink, and using a palette of muted colours, blues and greens, rusty oranges and mustardy yellows which reflect the earthy splendour of Gascony, Perry’s truly beautiful drawings present an affectionate celebration of the French way of life. Sitting at a street café, market day gatherings, herding free-range chickens, farmers and gardeners, wine makers, rugby-loving locals and the quintessential “mamie” and “papi” – Perry’s characters are those you’d recognise from anywhere in rural France.
Whimsical and perceptive – he catches a moment in time, and many of the pictures made me smile, and some made me snigger out loud, recognising the daily dilemmas of human nature and the quirks of life in the countryside.
Animals play a big role in the book with bike-riding pigs, boules-playing ducks and wild boar becoming the hunters; a droll play on role reversal.
All the pictures are captioned in French and English and there’s a lot of clever word plays, with great drawings, such as ‘Reservoir Ducks’.
This is a lovely coffee table book, an ‘Anglo-Gascon’ view of life in rural France that takes you away from the cares of today’s world. It makes you smile and nod in recognition if you know Gascony and yearn to discover it for yourself if you don’t.
You’ll want to share this book with your Francophile and art-loving friends but beware, it’s highly likely to borrowed – and never returned!
Available from www.perrytaylor.fr and many book outlets in France (see the website for details).