The artistic links between Jersey and France are extensive. French figureheads like Auguste Renoir, Victor Hugo, Claude Debussy, and more recently Claude Cahun visited, or lived, in Jersey at some point in their lives.
Jersey regularly welcomes French artists in residencies like the “Lock-Ins” by ArtHouse Jersey, working jointly with Jersey artists. An example of this cooperation is “Art’chaeology” in 2015, a project which aimed at exploring and celebrating archeology through the creation of contemporary works of art. Jersey and Norman artists spent time at famous archaeological sites in Normandy and Jersey and produced sculptures and paintings that were then exhibited in Jersey and Caen.
French artists come regularly to the Island to perform during the five-day French Festival (celebrating the French culture in the island and commemorating Bastille Day) and the “Fête Nouormande” / “Fête des Rouaisouns” (celebrating Norman traditions). Jersey artists are also regularly invited to artistic events in France such as Le Forum des Arts in Saint-Malo and the Norman music festival Jazz Sous Les Pommiers.
These cultural links also enabled the creation, in 2018, of a travelling exhibition from Guernsey to Normandy, via Jersey. This photographic exhibition called “L’île dans les îles” by the Norman photograph Olivier Mériel, presented a series of black and white pictures to immerse oneself in people, history, and landscapes of the Channel Islands.
Over the years, many collaborations with museums have been initiated, including the exhibition of the “coin hoard” at Jersey museum, for which the Musée de Normandie & Brittany archaeology centre lent some artefacts.