Half French and the other half Italian, Nicole Durand has spent her life in the world of art.

She became internationally famous whilst living in California which fame followed her on her return to Europe, specifically the Ligurian border of Italy and France. Villa d’Arte is the village that she bought just below Mortola Superior which is just after a hop over the border at Menton into Italy.

The Villa d’Arte is in itself a unique experience. It was rebuilt by Nicole in her own inimitable style. It is colourful and has an energy of its own. Yes, it is small, but that does not detract from its essential loveliness and uniqueness. Nicole lives here as do artists and visitors from all corners of the planet. This is also the place where Nicole has created her own studio which incorporates an open air space in which people are invited to learn to sculpt from Nicole.

Nicole Durand

Villa d'Arte

Given her successful background in sculpting and her teaching at the university in Menton, Nicole is superbly qualified to teach this art form. whether someone is a novice or a keen sculptor, Nicole is there to guide them through the many materials such as wood for beginners (and professionals!) to stone, which is the hardest material to sculpt. Arrangements are totally flexible with artists coming at weekends to continue their projects whilst others fly in from overseas to stay for a week or two. The environment is relaxed, bohemian and perfect for self expression.

Nicole’s work is superb. It is very feelings orientated with a delicate touch of eroticism, after all she is Italian and French! Her works are in stone and bronze together with the other materials that she uses to teach. They are fluid human forms that evoke the emotion that Nicole was intending, excellent work and totally accessible.

Nicole Durand sculptures

The Heart - Nicole Durand

One of her sculptures was the subject of “The Heart”, an animated short movie that has won many awards which film is available on Amazon.

The best way to contact Nicole and learn more about Villa d’Arte and Nicole herself is through her web page

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All images courtesy Nicole Durand

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