Alain Godon gifts his « Birdie »

  • Dated: July 2014
  • Media: Les Echos

Alain Godon gifts his « Birdie »

B“irdie” in golf­ing terms refers to a player suc­cess­fully tak­ing less strokes to com­plete a hole under par. By exten­sion, and in a sym­bolic sense, this is indeed a hugely suc­cess­ful stroke. Back in 1925 Le Tou­quet adopted the Caddy [cad­die] (an angli­ci­sa­tion of the French word « cadet »), the per­son who car­ries the player’s bag but who rapidly becomes advi­sor and staunch rock to the com­peti­tor (thus imply­ing a sig­nif­i­cant and strate­gic know-​how in for exam­ple judg­ing dis­tance, choice of club, weather conditions…).

Except­ing the world of golf, this fig­ure has been some­what neglected, but not by Alain Godon. He has called the statue Birdie, a small, but proud, man hold­ing out, bird perched on his fore­arm and golf bag over his shoul­der, the flag show­ing the hole, the goal! This orig­i­nal work, which he donated to the town after an offi­cial inau­gu­ra­tion on 5 July 2014 in front of a huge crowd of peo­ple num­ber­ing not only Mr Daniel Fasquelle, Deputy and Mayor of the town, Philippe Fait, Mayor of Eta­ples (who, through friend­ship and admi­ra­tion of the artist, crossed over the pink bridge link­ing the towns), as well as many elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives and local per­son­al­i­ties, has now been given a defin­i­tive place in the town. It can now be found at the entrance to the Palais des Con­grès and, with its atti­tude and refined sar­to­r­ial ele­gance, it reflects not only the resort’s styl­ish, although of its time, char­ac­ter but also its new cul­tural val­ues that the resort is striv­ing to pro­mote. « Godon rep­re­sents Peter Pan’s bat­tle; those who reject the cyn­i­cism in the world and who look to Prévert as a stan­dard bearer: “we should strive to be happy, if only to lead by exam­ple”. The artist has devel­oped this child­like art style, a vibrant enchant­ment of cityscapes in the naïf form. Immersed in street art and imbued with artis­tic acu­ity, he sees, fil­ters and tweaks count­less details – trees, build­ings, birds, vehi­cles, pave­ments, or street lights – and, using his tech­nique, our envi­ron­ment is recre­ated as though in a wak­ing dream.” His paint­ings and sculp­tures are wholly orig­i­nal and now, Tou­quet­tois by adop­tion, he is giv­ing back, one hun­dred­fold over, what the town has given him. Dur­ing the speeches and before rais­ing glasses to com­mem­o­rate the event, he humbly declared, “it is not Le Tou­quet which needs me, but it is I who need Le Tou­quet. The con­vivi­al­ity of the peo­ple in the Nord blows me away! This town has become a real cen­tre for cul­ture and it must con­tinue. I want to shine the spot­light on a town which does not need me”. It should be pointed out that this shin­ing light is pre­cious to the town, because Godon has become a seri­ous artist, recog­nised around the world. What an ambas­sador and what gen­eros­ity (as a sou­venir, he offered a superb poster depict­ing the statue to those attend­ing the event)!

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    July 2014
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