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Art: Love of the land

(April 2013) A stone wall is a stone wall – some might say. Wrong – that which is produced by artist Roland Mousquès, and set in the landscape may be stone on stone constructions but at the same time they are optically entertaining works of art with a love to detail and the land.

Mousquès lives in the French mountain area of Cèvennes where drywalls have a long tradition. By definition, they are constructed without mortar or cement. Originally they were tediously constructed by pioneers of rough, cheap terrain, usually miners.

Today these stone drywalls are seeing a new lease on life and increased interest by private owners – eco-conscious land owners cherish the idea that they are all natural and offer living space for small animals and plants.

Mousqès is one of several French specialists in drywall-construction and one of the founders of the Association Artisans Bâtisseurs en Pierre Sèche, France’s drywall association.

Stonemason by trade, Mousquès found to the theme for his livelihood, dry stonewalling, in 1970. „He seeks artistic and contemporary shapes“ according to the Organization’s webpage. Pictures of work samples in his home town Figeirolles speak for themselves.

Terms like „young pensioner“ are fitting. He is passionate about his home of Cèvennes and its raw landscape.

Mousquès’ drywalls have their very own charm. But the more eccentric varieties are a plus to the landscape. Typical for these walls is that they do not cut across terraces but are built parallel to the slopes.

Some recount the story of their geological precursors of many million years before our time when the stones were born. The material used is also timeless: The stones integrated will exist almost for ever after.

Roland Mousquès (Mail)

The Association Artisans Bâtisseurs en Pierres Sèches offers apprenticeships and internships to acquire the skill of dry walling.

Study on the market for drywalls in the French mountain area of Cèvennes (French)

Photos: Roland Mousquès

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