Little French Boat Sails Into BondiOut-priced and foreign to the language, Bondi newcomer Anne-Sophie Ridelaire and her boyfriend Gaetano are fashioning a new wave of backyard galleries to showcase homegrown and international talent, as well as providing workshops to help local artists thrive.
After moving to the Eastern Suburbs from France just two years ago, Anne-Sophie and Gaetano opened up their garage to the public to re-invigorate the local art scene.
When you first walk into the driveway/garage turned spacious gallery/workshop, Le Petit Bateau (French for ‘little boat’) greets you with open arms and friendliness, regardless of your artistic ability. The open courtyard area outside, thrown together from spare materials and home to the namesake ‘little boat’, immediately inspires creativity.
“I love this place; we are first a community,” Ms Ridelaire explained in broken English. “It is better to have everything together. Bondi Road is perfect, to be close to the community. Galleries like this, it’s easier for the public to understand the artists because they are closer to the art, we are more open.”
The former French street-art promoter and her Italian boat-maker boyfriend have opened their doors to let both local artists and seasoned travellers express themselves. Le Petit Bateau embraces the diversification of art, creating a communal and creative hub for artists to embrace each other’s culture.
“It is something really important to share the different cultures and nationalities,” Ms Ridelaire said.
The artistic workspace isn’t only gaining a following around Bondi, international art communities are starting to take notice too.
“Our first exhibition, Blue, is also the name of the artist. Now she’s started to be famous. She did something with superheroes and then Marvel Comics called us, so Mavel knows about this place,” Ms Ridelaire said.
“We were in a lot of small articles from Singapore, New York and Paris. This artist made our place famous.”
Despite their recent success, the owners have remained grounded, more intent on giving back to the community.
“I can feel there is something in Bondi. I’ve met so many artists in Bondi who are looking for a place to express themselves and I would love to help them.”
To find out more about Le Petite Bateau, head to www.lepetitbateau.com.au.