2015: A year in review / by Hayley Quentin

On Dec. 19, 2015 I left Lyon, France after about 18 months of living there. That’s two birthdays, two apartments (plus a real touch and go moment where a friend’s spare apartment was necessary when moving between places), immeasurable kindness from new friends, and one damn fabulous outdoor market (that’s why Croix-Rousse is the best) among many other fond memories.

Place Sathonay in Lyon, France

Place Sathonay in Lyon, France

Having never been to Italy before, this year I was able to fulfill a dream of mine in visiting Florence.  I fell in love with La Specola, the museum of zoology and natural history. While that alone sounds great, what's really special about this place are the rooms full of anatomical and surgical wax figures. Heavenly. 

La Specola

La Specola

La Specola

La Specola

Other art influences came from seeing the painted caves in the Dordogne region. While the replicas at Lascaux were incredibly moving (despite it being the off-season and tours only being held in French) for me the real impact came from the paintings at Font-de-Gaume. It was real. Of course no photos are allowed inside the caves.

The village of Les Eyzies, built into the overhang cliffs. This was the home base for a special trip to the Dordogne region to see cave paintings.

The village of Les Eyzies, built into the overhang cliffs. This was the home base for a special trip to the Dordogne region to see cave paintings.

This year I also had the best time working on an installation as a part of the Architecture of an Atom screening at the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon by my dear friend Juliacks. 

This was also the year I really fell in love with a new medium, watercolors, and had the pleasure to really sink in to this new discovery. My favorite works this year are a mix of oil and watercolor pieces, both of which explore the layers of a slightly modified or distorted digital photograph. 

Electronic Brain #1, oil on paper, 16" x 12"

Electronic Brain #1, oil on paper, 16" x 12"

Source, watercolor on paper, 27.5" x 20"

Source, watercolor on paper, 27.5" x 20"

Cache #6, watercolor on paper, 10" x 14"

Cache #6, watercolor on paper, 10" x 14"

But mostly I will miss Lyon. It marks the beginning of the end of a specific chapter in my life, in a way. I have spent about 7 years living away from the US. I am just briefly in the UK now, before I return to Los Angeles for who knows how long; complications of cross-continental love and visa requirements. Can’t imagine Horace writing about that. 

Goodbye Lyon

Goodbye Lyon