Le Bois d’Oingt

Le Bois d'Oingt 4


Le Bois d'Oingt

Le Bois d'Oingt 1

Le Bois d'Oingt 6

Pastoral Football

I took these photos while on holiday in 2015. We were in Lyon and then went to the countryside for a few days. We passed through this village a few times and on one occasion I took these photos. It was hot and there was no breeze. The absence of grass makes the pitch easier to manage. It seems an intensely played upon pitch. I have never played football properly, but it is pitches like these that make me want to. I imagine making a sliding tackle at the precise moment. I imagine the anger if I make it at the wrong moment. I imagine the young boys who play upon this pitch with the intensity of a cup final; drenching themselves in sweat before midday. Or indeed, games between the locals who work in the vineyards and those who come from elsewhere, working seasonally. Games played without an arbitre; games played where hors-jeu controversies end in fights and feuds that continue for weeks and months. I imagine the locals making the couple of hour trip to watch OL play in their glamorous new stadium with their glamorous new Dutch signing, Meneer Memphis Depay. Football as a game again; as a game in which spectators are soon enough players and participants. The textures are rougher and the chalk becomes loose and needs replacing. But the lines somehow replicate the straight lines of the vineyards; the semi-circles somehow resemble those found in the town’s architecture.

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