French national network
of contemporary art centres

Contemporary art centres

Cairn Centre d’art

10 montée Bernard Dellacasagrande, 04005 Digne-les-Bains

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

DCA - centre d'art - Cairn
Cairn Centre d’art, vue extérieure. Photo : Cairn Centre d’art.

The CAIRN was created in 2000 on the initiative of the Gassendi Museum and in collaboration with the UNESCO Geopark of Haute-Provence.

If the word cairn refers to the piles of stones that walkers find on the trails to signal the direction to take or to warn of the presence of danger, it is also the founding acronym of : Informal Art Centre for Nature Research.

The CAIRN art centre is a space for experimentation around an issue at the heart of today’s debates, concerns and mobilizations: nature.

For 20 years, CAIRN has been inviting artists who question our relationship with nature and who propose a renewed approach: Mark Dion, Delphine Gigoux-Martine, herman de vries, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Nonas, Till Roeskens…

The art centre is being developed on both a small and large scale: a temporary exhibition room, a route punctuated by sculptures in the heart of the Saint-Benoît Park and a collection of perennial works on the territory of the UNESCO Geopark of Haute-Provence (more than 200,000 hectares).

In an interdisciplinary approach that links art to nature and the specificities of the territory, CAIRN aims to assert itself as an artistic laboratory that produces and disseminates contemporary creation in rural areas.

The works that are located in nature as well as those that occupy the temporary exhibition space are often an invitation to walk and roam in the mountains. Conceived in relation to the context, scattered near villages or along mountain paths, they invite visitors to discover the landscapes they pass through in a different way and accompany them in the discovery of natural sites, history and local traditions.

The CAIRN art centre welcomes artists on invitation, for the production of works and exhibitions, and on call for applications, for a research residency.

From spring to autumn, the CAIRN art centre offers mediation activities (exhibition visits, school visits, workshops, etc.) and one-off events (vernissage, conferences, meetings with artists, etc.).

The CAIRN art centre is part of BOTOX(S), the contemporary art network of the Alps and Riviera, of DCA — French national network of contemporary art centres and of the ELAN network (European Land Art Network) and it benefits from the financial support of the French Ministry of Culture/DRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region and the city of Digne-les-Bains.

Director: Sandra Cattini