Visit : L’Eglise de Sainte Marie Madeleine, Lille

Hi there! Hope you are doing fine. I’m unfortunately on sick leave for a few days due to mild flu and a sprain on my left ankle :( On doctor’s prescription I have a few days for myself and especially for my left foot to heal.

Only a few days before our departure to Canada (yeay!!) and I can’t wait. The weather in Lille is also great this week since we have big sunny sun but still a little bit chilly. As I said last week, the major art and cultural event Lille3000 has started here so last Saturday I went to check out a few art installation. Sadly I was already a little bit sick back then so I missed the opening parade.

One of the great perks of such events is that you get to explore the city as you have never been there before. Vieux Lille, or the old part of Lille has been one of our favorite place to hangout but I admit that we rarely go beyond the area that we already knew.  My first visit to Lille3000 by happy chance brought me to a beautiful hidden architecture gem in Rue du Pont Neuf.

Eglise Sainte Marie Madeleine Lille | myfavoritelist

Eglise Sainte Marie Madeleine Lille | myfavoritelist

This historical building have a special feature and mix of architectural influence. The façade of this church is of Baroque influence, antique Greece for its dome and my favorite, Flamish Renaissance for its choir.

Eglise Sainte Marie Madeleine | myfavoritelist

Eglise Sainte Marie Madeleine | myfavoritelist

Upon entering this building, you will be greeted by a stunning art installation by Subodh Gupta, a contemporary art artist from New Delhi. This artwork was created in 2006 during the Bombayser, in memory of the tsunami event in 2004 and has been kept in the church since then.

Eglise Sainte Marie Madeleine | myfavoritelist

Eglise Sainte Marie Madeleine | myfavoritelist

I spare you guys all the description and meaning of the artwork since I am far far away from being an art expert but it was just fascinating and surprising at the same time. Gupta also did another oeuvre d’art in this series called “Very Hungry God” in 2007 and it is now exposed in at the famous Pinault Foundation art museum, Palazzo Grassi in Venice.

Eglise Sainte Marie Madeleine | myfavoritelist

Now we are at my favorite part of the church, architecturally-speaking of course. Look at the ceiling of the choir! Beautiful pastel and gold coloured ornate ceiling which reminds me of churches in Italy. The choir also has a painting from Jacob van Oost, a Flamish Baroque painter well acclaimed in the 17th century.

Eglise Sainte Marie Madeleine | myfavoritelist

Just underneath this choir, you can find another artwork, this time by French artist Thierry Fournier. Originally an accomplished musician, he collaborated in multiple projects in architecture, art, theater, and cinema.

Thierry Fournier Lille3000 | myfavoritelist

For Lille3000, the artist has created an oeuvre called “Sous Ensemble” (or Subset in english) where he works with L’Orchestre National de Lille. It is different from other artwork as the visitors can try instrument by instrument installed by the artist. Personally I found the idea of having this installation is genius since the echo created by the church filled every corner of the building. Even as an adult, I reacted as a 5 years old kid when I tested every single instrument there and created my own melody.

I hope you like this first article of Lille3000. If you live near Lille, I highly recommand you to spend a weekend here and enjoy all the cultural events!

Take good care and till then!

P/S: Don’t hesitate to leave a message if you have any suggestion on things to do or see in Canada (we’ll be in Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls and Ottawa)!

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