Starting on June 6 and going on until November 11, 2014, a charming exhibition is taking place in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. The event is called “Fleurs en Campagne” — a play on words because “campagne” refers to both the countryside and a military campaign. As such, the name of the exhibit can be translated as both “Flowers in the Countryside” and “Flowers in the (War) Campaign.” This double meaning plays out in the exhibit, as the beauty of wildflowers is used to commemorate World War I.
In a park called the Parc de Bagatelle, five natural environments are represented, showing the flora and fauna that is native to the Parisan area. Visitors can stroll through the greenery, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of Paris outdoors. Guests staying at the Hôtel Louvre Marsollier can therefore experience the exhibit that takes place just a short metro trip away from their rooms.
In the central courtyard of the park, a photographic exhibit reveals the work of photographer Magali Roucaut. Roucaut’s photographs capture wildflowers tucked into various corners of the City of Light. In this way, she highlights the juxtaposition between savage nature and formal architecture, in a city known for its beautiful buildings.
Other parts of the exhibition include sections like “Flowers of Memory,” which is dedicated to soldiers and French patriotism, and “The Flower in the Rifle,” which explores wildflowers as symbols of war combatants. There is also a section called “Flowers in Fashion,” showing how flowers have been used as decorations and accessories throughout the decades.
There is even a part of the exhibit conceived specially for children, with a reading space where flowers recite their stories in poetic ways. Adults can also have fun doing a quiz that poses questions throughout the exhibition journey. All in all, the “Fleurs en Campagne” exhibit pays tribute to the history and beauty of France, as expressed through flowers.