Putting an exhibition together for the south of France was a particularly poignant and emotional experience for Shirley Baker’s family. This was to be her first solo exhibition in France – the location, the cultural centre in the pretty coastal city of Le Lavandou, known as ‘the city of dolphins’. Raphael Dupouy, head of culture for the city, was delighted to be able to host an exhibition in honour of Shirley Baker and her work at the city’s light and airy cultural centre.
Away from the glitzy resorts of Monaco, and Cannes, Le Lavandou has a casual and relaxed feel and is a popular holiday spot for French, German, Dutch and English families. It was here that Shirley and her family enjoyed beach and sailing holidays. Shirley and her husband discovered Le Lavandou one summer whilst driving along the French Riviera. They felt Le Lavandou was the most picturesque part of the coast with beautiful islands just a short sail away. They bought a holiday home in the hills of Le Lavandou, a little away from the beach resort, and enjoyed summers there for almost 50 years. Shirley was fascinated by the people and the lifestyle and spent much time meandering along the little streets and the beaches with her camera.
A selection of her work was shown in a number of Parisian galleries during her lifetime however Manchester – Le Lavandou is the first solo exhibition of her work in France.
Manchester – Le Lavandou: Shirley Baker is at the Espace Culturel till 9 September 2018.
The feature image at the top of the page shows the inauguration ceremony: Shirley’s daughter Nan (second from left); Raphael Dupouy, head of culture (far right), with the mayor and his cultural events team. Images below show the private view of the exhibition, and a poster, displayed in the town centre.