Exhibition The Blue Gold Under Threat

Until 31 Aug 2013, the L’Occitane Museum in Manosque presents the work of photographer José Nicolas around lavender. A series of snapshots that pays tribute to the lavender industry of Provence, which is rallying to save this “blue gold,” today in decline.
By Caroline Taret

The photographer José Nicolas has been working in Provence for over 20 years. Established in Aix-en-Provence, he crisscrosses the region to capture its splendors, meet its inhabitants, and transmit its craftsmanship. A ubiquitous subject in Provence, lavender makes a marvelous décor for his photographs. Between landscapes striped with blue from Goult to Roussillon, by way of Senanque and the Sault Plateau, and portraits of growers and pickers like Marguerite Blanc, and distillers, it’s the entire industry that the photographer has captured. Right up to the French fragrant plants research organization the CRIEPPAM, that leads active research on the decline of lavender. Indeed, lavender is suffering assaults by a leafhopper, which by feeding on the branches introduces a phytoplasma that causes the plant’s slow decline. Thanks to the research and rallying of the actors of this industry – just as important economically as culturally – lavender receives special attention. L’Occitane mobilizes around this precious heritage by participating in the endowment fund created to finance research, and by signing contracts with the lavender growers that guarantee the purchase of their harvest for the next five years. Initiatives that you can support by making a donation to www.sauvegarde-lavandes-provence.org.

L'Or Bleu de Provence est menacé
Photographies de José Nicolas
Jusqu'au 31 Août 2013
Musée l'Occitane En Provence
Zone Industrielle Saint-Maurice
04100 Manosque

View of a lavender field
View of a lavender field
Village of Puimichel, in Alpes de Haute Provence
Photographies José Nicolas
The Vallon des lavandes
The Vallon des lavandes
Harvest in Sault, Provence
Photographies José Nicolas
Traditional distillery in Sault
Traditional distillery in Sault
The Vallon des lavandes in Provence
Photographies José Nicolas
The CRIEPPAM
The CRIEPPAM
Manosque
Photographies José Nicolas

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