Art and culture have been an integral part of Mauritius. Photography and art enthusiasts find plenty of inspiration in the breathtaking landscapes of this paradise island. And where do you find the best of Mauritian art? Galerie du Moulin Casse is the answer!
Galerie du Moulin Casse is the new avatar of an authentically restored sugar mill in Riviere du Rempart, and it now exhibits the vibrant floral paintings of the famous Mauritian painter Malcolm de Chazal and an exquisite collection of photographs by Diane Henry. But what counts as the centre of attraction is the collection of more than 20000 terracotta pots interlining the vaulted arcs of the ceiling.
The 130-year-old stunning sugar mill with its unique arched roof was built in 1820. Back in 1880, it was closed down due to the lack of water supply, and the building had been abandoned for 86 years up until 1966 when its new owner took matters into hand and carefully restored it, transforming it into a unique looking country house. The architecture of the building is a representation of the historical heritage of Mauritius. This old factory was redesigned in such a way that it could even withstand fire. The vaults have been made out of elements like lime, mortar and red clay that act as a barricade to flames.
Tour of the Gallery
Also known as - the Broken Mill Gallery, the Galerie du Moulin Casse is the haven of Mauritian art. As soon as you enter premises, you will find yourself in a beautiful lush green tropical garden that surrounds the house, before you enter the building.
You will find the art gallery inside the building where two artists are permanently exhibited – nature photography of Diane Henry, contemporary photographer and vibrant works of Malcolm de Chazal.
Diane Henry specialises in capturing the grandeur of nature through the lens. Her technique of macro photography immediately catches your attention with its disproportionate beauty of nature. Diane is the daughter of the owner of the building. As you walk down the gallery, your eyes will fall on the fragile charms of her works – a starfish, a blooming flower, a shore – very clichéd subjects frozen at that moment. Most of the pictures taken by her are set in Mauritius and from her travelling venture to South Africa, Asia and France. Her artworks can also be found in the L’Aventure du Sucre museum and Le Preskil and Le Shandrani hotels as well.
Malcolm de Chazal is a prominent figure in Mauritius and one of the best-known artists of Mauritius for his graphic works and literary writings. He had enough professional experience regarding sugar and textile, which led him to implement his political and economic ideas in the sugar industry. Other than that, he was a poet, a writer and a playwright and thus was an integral part of the Mauritian intellectuals’ circle back in the 1940s. At the age of 56, Malcolm de Chazal chose painting to quench his thirst of finding new means of expression. His paintings aim at spreading the essential truths of life; they are simple to read, quite naive and frank. The acid and frank use of colours in the paintings reflects the sweet madness and audacity of Chazal. During his lifetime, he embarked on new adventures very frequently that resulted in his constant and numerous productions. Few of his canvases were sold on the island as well. Moreover, his paintings are highly appreciated in exhibitions held in the United States, France, Italy and Senegal.
Galerie du Moulin Casse can be a refreshing addition to your travel itinerary in Mauritius. The beautiful artworks and enchanting photographs take you into a state of ecstatic abstractness. A visit is a must!
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Telephone & Payment Details
The Galerie du Moulin Casse hosts temporary exhibitions of main paintings. The gallery is open only by appointment. You have to call before visiting the gallery.â†µTelephone: +230 572 70672â†µThe price level is moderate, and the payment method is through credit card.
How to Reach Galerie du Moulin Casse
It will take you just above thirty minutes to reach Galerie du Moulin Casse from Port Louis. You have to take the M2 motorway and head towards the Grand Baie road in Pamplemousses district. From there, follow the B45 Twenty-Foot road and Chemin du Vieux Moulin Casse. You will find your destination on Route Old Mille at Riviere du Rempart in Grand Baie.