From 1 June to 30 September 2023, the Hôtel-Dieu des Hospices Civils de Beaune will host the photographic exhibition "SEULLE ÉTOILE. L'élan d'une vocation", a work carried out by the author-photographer Guillaume Nédellec on the Community of Hospice Sisters of the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune between 2019 and 2022. This project bears witness to the past, present and future of the hospital sisters, these women who have chosen a different life: a life dedicated to the sick within "a palace for the poor". This is how the chancellor of the Duke of Burgundy Nicolas Rolin and his wife Guigone de Salins imagined it when they founded the charitable institution of the Hôtel-Dieu in 1443, which they entrusted to the good care of the Dames Hospitalières.
In making this documentary work, Guillaume Nédellec was immediately touched by the sense of the sisters' vocation, their gift to others, whether human or spiritual. During his various visits, he tried to understand their life path, their commitment and their faith. He allowed himself to be guided by their conversations, by the places they have frequented or still occupy, from which always emanate so many vibrations. During these encounters, the author-photographer took notes, recorded the exchanges and recorded this history, which is almost six centuries old.
But since 1968, the Beaune Community has not welcomed any new sisters; in 2021, they lost one of their number, and are now down to four. By dedicating their lives to the lives of others, these extraordinary women made the light of life shine in the heart of Beaune. It is this same light that Guillaume Nédellec has sought to capture in his photographic work, alternating portraits, still lifes and interior scenes. He chose to work with a 4 x 5 inch silver camera in natural light, in portrait format and in colour. It is a device that naturally imposed itself on the photographer in view of the nobility of these women and the institution they embody. This work of pictorial inspiration is completed by an audio slide show made up of archive documents, interviews and unpublished images, a moving evocation of personal itineraries in relation to the secular missions carried out for the patients of the Hôtel-Dieu.
Guillaume Nédellec is a graphic designer by training and profession. In 2015, after a move, photography became the indispensable tool of an obvious artistic approach. Since then, he has been working on long term projects where photography and writing allow him to tell stories, between modesty and poetry, personal research and documentation of the outside world. His first works focused on "ordinary" heroic figures. Those of her grandparents with L'Écume de ma vie, a work in progress since 2015. Those of the Children of Izieu, sent to their deaths in 1944 because they were born Jewish, told in the form of a sound slide show. Finally, those of the Hospitaller Sisters of Beaune with "Seulle Étoile. The impetus of a vocation". He produced a pictorial work on the twilight of this congregation. With these great figures, he explores memory, childhood, family, justice and love. In 2023, "Seulle Étoile. L'élan d'une vocation" was the subject of a tribute exhibition at the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune, and 25 prints were added to the collections. His current work, L'Étranger, is a photographic and literary fiction. In it, Guillaume Nédellec addresses the fundamental questions of migration, borders, judgment and resilience.
From Thursday 1 June to Saturday 30 September
Exhibition included in the entrance ticket
Accessible every day, 9am-7.30pm
Full price: 12 € - Reduced price: 8 € - Youth price: 4
Ticket office closes at 6.30pm
Opening on Thursday 1 June, 6.30 pm
- Credit card, Payment cards, Cash, Eurocard - Mastercard, Visa
From 01/06/23 to 30/09/23 of 09:00 to 19:30
Open every day from 9am to 7.30pm
The last access to the ticket office is 1 hour before the site closes (6.30pm)
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