April 20, 2019

France - Reims - "Marie of Romania, queen and artist" exhibition at Palais du Tau

Fairly close to Luxembourg (about a two hours drive) there is this Reims. I have to say that in the five to six years living here I've never had the urge to visit it, but I did on the first proper summer's day of this year. And the reason I was so eager to go to Reims was an exhibition dedicated to Queen Marie of Romania.
A few words cause maybe you had no idea of this incredible personality.

Queen Marie of Romania was born into the British Royal Family as Princess Marie of Edinburgh, the daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (son of Queen Victoria) and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Rusia (daughter of the Tsar Alexander II of Rusia). After refusing a proposal from her cousin, the future King George V, she was chosen as the future wife of Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania in 1892. Marie was Crown Princess between 1893 and 1914, and became immediately popular with the Romanian people (wiki).
This is in a few lines how she arrived in Romania. I've discovered her when I was a teenager, visiting with my family the Pelișor Castle in Sinaia, decorated by her, and if you happen to find yourself there you will surely discover the functionality of the place. Almost always when I visit castles that were inhabited I go from one room to the next, the audience room, the reading room, the bedrooms and so on, and I could not imagine someone from this present time living in there. But Pelișor is somehow functional, it makes sense, it is liveable.

After that visit, I've started reading her memories and then other books written by her and discover her accomplishments. She was the big promoter of the Romanian National Costume, wearing it and encouraging the women in her entourage to also have costumes made. My beloved Romanian blouses are part of that National costume. I even traced her footsteps in Iasi, because during the First World War they had to evacuate Bucharest and rule the country from my hometown. After that war, she was the force that led to Romania being united in almost the same territory as today.

In her long lobby with the British and French forces pleading for a united Romania, she visits Reims after it being destroyed by the war. So you see it somehow makes sense that an exhibition dedicated to her to be opened in that French town.
After this long intro, let's talk about the exhibition.

First thing first, it is good that it exists. Romania in general has a certain face for the French people and that impression, that stereotype is something that we (the ones living so close to France) have to battle almost daily. I would have brought to Reims the products of today's Romania and not something from the glorious past, but I dare to dream it is the first step.
You will see a few objects that belonged to Queen Marie of Romania, starting from paintings commissioned by her, furniture designed by her, a few pieces of her jewellery, books she written and painted, everyday objects and to finish, the crown and cloak she wore for her coronation day, October 15th, 1922.

For Romania, the exhibition, is a great achievement and if you are interested in this sort of stuff, know that there is another Romanian exhibition at Louvre, in Paris, with Byzantine Embroidered Textiles.
The location of the "Marie of Romania, queen and artist" exhibition is gorgeous. The Palais du Tau was the palace of the Archbishop of Reims. It is associated with the kings of France, whose coronation was held in the nearby cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims.

The admittance fee is 8 euros and the visit lasts about an hour.

I hope you enjoyed reading my little article as much as I've enjoyed writing it. As always we can continue the chat on Instagram. You can find me @mademoiselle.ralu

April 8, 2019

Luxembourg - Via Botanica - The Daffodil Forest

Recently my Instagram feed got flooded by pictures of daffodils posted by the people I follow in Luxembourg. I (we) had to see the daffodil forest so I've started researching how to get there. I'm writing this article so you will not go through all that trouble.

Via Botanica starts in Lellingen, a small village in the northern part of the country and about an hour drive from the city. Apparently, as I've found out from an article written in 2009, Via Botanica is known as a hiking trail and only recently was discovered by the photography enthusiasts and Instagrammers.

It has 7.58 kilometres and my advice to you is to wear proper hiking/walking equipment, meaning at least some walking shoes. I did it in my fancy red boots and it wasn't that hard, but as I'm writing this my feet hurt more than my husband's, who on the last thought changed his footwear. I am definitely an Instagramer and not a hiking aficionado.

Second, if you want to photograph or just experience walking through the daffodils, go to the Via Botanica earlier in the spring. It all depends on the weather, so it isn't a clear maker in time to go and see the Daffodil Forest. Just keep an eye on social media and go on the first sight of daffodils in your feed. We went there in the weekend (so April 7th) and the daffodils were drawing their last breath.
Third, follow the daffodil sign. The trail is clearly marked throughout the forest, so even for an inexperienced hiker as we are it is easy to follow it.

Still, I think the trail is nice even without the daffodils, as you have a lot of places to stop and enjoy the nature and maybe have a snack. Be aware though not to litter as there are no litter bags on the trail, you will have to take your garbage with you.
The trail is dotted with benches designed by the artist Alan Johnston, at some point you will spot the poem "I wondered lonely as a cloud" by William Wordsworth and a haiku by Osaki Hôsai carved in Japanese, Luxembourgish and French.

The trail is a loop that starts and ends in Lellingen. We found there a cosy cafe and parking, so you will not have to worry about those little things that make or brake an experience.

I will leave you with my pictures and I hope I've inspired you to go in the nature and experience it at least on the weekends.

I hope you enjoyed reading my little article as much as I've enjoyed writing it. As always we can continue the chat on Instagram. You can find me @mademoiselle.ralu

April 3, 2019

Luxembourg - Romanian artists exhibited at the Neumunster Abbey

Under the title Mythologies, nine Romanian contemporary artists showcase their works in Luxembourg. At the Neumunster Abbey, a place with great importance in the recent history of Romania (it was there that in 2007 the former communist country signed the treaty to become an EU member state), until April 15th, you will be able to admire their works, as they are exhibited in the "Chapelle" room.

The artists experiment with different mediums, such as textile, photography or light boxes.

Radu Pandele - Still life (triptique) and Absurd fantasy (diptyque) - "When describing his paintings and installations, Radu Pandele talks about "modest art," but also about "nihilistic hedonism" and "revival of surrealism." All of this is mixed up in his works, combining classic painting with 3D rendering, spiced up with classic punk themes. Connections between criticism of consumerism and existential distress create in Pandele's works new fictional worlds, both terrifying and charming at the same time." (Startpoint price 2018)

Răzvan Boar - Yellow and Mauve - "Boar’s work enters into the dialogue within contemporary painting without being tied down by its constructs. It also engages with more ubiquitous questions informing Surrealism, fantasy and the uncanny." (Ana Cristea Gallery)

Petru Lucaci - Clarobscur - "From charcoal as a medium to mud as a subject, the resources of the color black – Petru Lucaci’s central preoccupation for the last two decades – have been exploited to the maximum." (Revista Arta)

Gili Mocanu - Podium - Platform -

Adrian Dan - Midcentury Paradox - "Objects offer different entry points to the development of the body, supporting its shape, and replicating biologic functions for its embellishment and improvement. The tension between technology and the human body, seen through a lens of history, is the main point of interrogation."(

Ioana Stanca - Soft J - "Her research in textures and tactility, determined Ioana to expand her attention towards other media besides painting and to focus on different techniques of working with textiles. With this mindset, the sewing machine becomes an extension of the artist’s will. Now, an infinity of associations can be made, the automatism of the machine becomes an exploration tool and it can be used to create even embroideries, following techniques that Ioana developed." (Czech Centre Bucharest)

Aurora Király - Viewfinder Mock-up - "Aurora Király faces a continuous reconciliation between an ever-changing past and an ineffable present. The bridge between them, the architecture of what she builds is made out of a commonly shared want to seize the moment and the simultaneous instinct to live in the next one." (Anca Poterasu Gallery)

Iosif Király - D_Platform - "Although I love good quality conceptual art, and I know just as well as you do that there are master pieces of contemporary art that are better seen than talked about. I still think that the perfect work of art can properly balance objects and concepts. During my constructivist period, I mostly understood art from the perspective of formalism, composition, chromatic or functionality. As time passed, however, even though I continued working in a constructivist manner, I attempted to grant these shapes a symbolic, spiritual dimension." (Revista Arta)

Arantxa Etcheverria - Structuri - "The paintings, the drawings contained in them, starting from what constitutes an opening, a gap in a solid, material reality, are abstract. These gaps are windows and doors seen by Arantxa Etcheverria walking through Bucharest, geometric presences, very strong visuals that arrange the building and the sight – by repetition, by symmetry." (Art Viewer)

The exhibition was organised with the support of the Romanian Embassy in Luxembourg and the Romanian Cultural Institute and it is part of a series of events organised by Romania as it holds the Presidency of the European Union Council, until June, this year.

Exhibition is opened daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m..