The region of Digne-les-Bains has the world's largest collection of works by Andy Goldsworthy gathered in the same space.

Refuge d'Art is a single work to be covered in around ten days of walking. This route, unique in Europe, crosses the exceptional landscapes of theUNESCO Geopark of Haute Provence and combines contemporary art, hiking and the promotion of natural and cultural heritage in a unique way.

José Nicolas

River of Earth

The very first Art Refuge has as its setting the Gassendi Museum in the heart of Digne-les-Bains.

Connecting three sentinels (dry stone cairns) in the heart of three valleys, the route follows old paths and crosses traces of a once intense agricultural life. Andy Goldsworthy wanted to punctuate this route with refuges, old ruined habitats belonging to small unprotected rural heritage (chapels, farms, etc.) which have been restored to shelter hikers for a stopover or a night. A sculpture designed specifically in each of its sites is now an integral part of the building.

Portrait of Andy Goldsworthy
Gassendi museum

Andy Goldsworthy

An artist of British origin, he is one of the recognized figures of Land Art. Invited in residence by the Gassendi Museum and the Haute Provence Geological Nature Reserve at the end of the 1990s, Andy Goldsworthy fell in love with the Dignois territory. Here he created his “Sentinels” and “Art Refuges” during numerous visits.





Starting point

The Gassendi Museum

A monumental work – River of Earth

The Gassendi Museum constitutes both the starting point and the arrival point of Art Refuge.
He houses River of Earth, the first Art Refuge was created in 1999 by Andy Goldsworthy. A monumental clay wall of more than 50 m², it is exhibited on the fourth floor of the building, in a vast space: the landscape room.
This room confronts two visions of the idea of ​​landscape: the romantic and traditional vision of Provençal painters influenced by the ideals of Frédéric Mistral and the contemporary vision of Andy Goldsworthy.

Atlantic Ballet at the Gassendi Museum in front of the work of Andy Goldsworthy
Gassendi Museum

Little story

The work River of Earth was made from clay from Penpont (Scotland) and hair from Dignoises and Dignois.

This work emerged in Andy’s mind when Régine Chopinot, choreographer for the “Ballet Atlantique” company, offered him a new collaboration.

I have regularly come to work in Digne since 1995. Each visit seems to have generated an idea and a reason to come back. Ballet Atlantique and Digne have always been linked for me. When Régine offered me a second collaboration, our discussions focused on the idea of ​​a river.

Visit the museum

Firm. Opens at 10:00 p.m.
64 Boulevard Gassendi
04000 Digne-les-Bains
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Art as a pretext for walking

Art shelter

Nap break in front of the Esclangon art refuge
PAA The Naturographer

A unique work of art

Art shelter is therefore both a unique work of art and an authentic hiking route. It is in fact made up of several artistic installations to “go through” between 8 and 10 days of walking. At the heart of theUNESCO Geopark of Haute Provence, the 150 km can be done roaming or by star (day trip).
An IGN map specially published for this artistic project presents the complete itinerary as well as the day hikes. On the back, the hiker will find a presentation of the works (Refuges and Sentinels) in French and English as well as practical and tourist information to prepare for his walk.

The sculpture here is not just the stone, it's the house, it's the whole route

Mountain guides aware of art

The association Art on the way brings together professionals (mountain guides, accommodation providers, restaurateurs, etc.) aware of the mountain art collection of the Gassendi Museum.
Using their service ensures optimal support around works of art in the great outdoors.

Learn more

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