Francophile shares European images


Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 1.35.53 PMJOSEPH — Robert Kemp, an “Oregonian by birth, Francophile by choice,” will lead a photographic presentation at the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture.

Kemp’s presentation, “On Pilgrim Paths: Sacred Sites of Medieval France, Wales and Spain,” will include images and reflections that illuminate the history and beauty of Europe.

Kemp recently spent two months in Europe, much of it on a tour of Romanesque and Gothic religious sites of southwestern France, as well as a few sites in Provence, Wales and Catalonia. The Joseph artist takes a special interest in the architecture and sculpture of the Romanesque and Gothic periods. 

In the Middle Ages, thousands of Christian pilgrims traveled a network of routes leading to sacred places associated with saints and miracles. Significant among these routes was the Way of St. James, or the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain, which attracted pilgrims from all over Europe. There were numerous routes across France leading to the Camino, and churches and monasteries along the routes began to collect holy relics for themselves. Some became sites of pilgrimage on their own merit. Many of these places have changed little in a thousand years, and the routes still attract pilgrims who walk hundreds of kilometers of the historic paths each year.

In order to visit the most significant sites, Kemp traveled by rented car on back roads, criss-crossing the major routes to visit medieval sites including Rocamadour, Perigueux and Conques. In addition, Kemp visited secluded medieval monasteries of the French and Spanish Pyrenees including St. Martin du Canigou and St. Pere de Rodes. Kemp will also include locations in Provence and Wales in his presentation, along with a digression to Gaudi’s contemporary Basilica of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. 

Kemp will also present information on pilgrimage travel, including lodging in pilgrim hostels and monasteries. Kemp has studied and traveled in France and other countries of Western Europe on eight previous occasions.

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