Walter May, "Chateau Mathieu," Archival inkjet on Hahnemuhle paper, 61 x 86 cm.
In the summer of 2009, Alberta artists M.N. Hutchinson, Walter May, Gloria Mok, Greg Payce, Laura Vickerson and visual arts writer/curator Diana Sherlock received a curious invitation to develop a residency at Chateau Mathieu, a private residence built in the French Borough of Caen in Lower Normandy in the latter part of the 18th century.
Chateau Mathieu’s lonely halls whisper more personal stories as well; ones of scientific, artistic and colonial discovery, silent espionage, and the struggle to maintain a home during war and economic collapse. From diverse individual perspectives, and without a predetermined outcome in mind, each of the six participants mined this rich history of the Chateau Mathieu to produce new works for "Folly: Chateau Mathieu;" tales of excess in ruin that continue to resonate within our contemporary context.