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A Famous Wind In Photographs At A Sun Valley Gallery

courtesy of the artist
Rachel Cobb

A new photography exhibit in Ketchum looks at the power of wind and how it changes a landscape.

The mistral is the name of the gusty unpredictable winds that blow across southern France, where photographer Rachel Cobb has visited for decades. The Provence landscape has long attracted artists and writers, such as Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne. And the mistral especially captivated Cobb.



"It’s a famous wind that’s been written about a lot," she explained. "It’s probably more akin to the Santa Ana winds, because it conjures up strong feelings."

The exhibit of images, selections from her new book, include many windblown scenes: with people, snow, rain and clouds. Showing her work in Sun Valley, she can’t help but reference one of the images, featuring a flag blowing on a rocky French mountain top, due to its similarities to a local landmark.


Cobb details the setting for the landscape in the image featured above: "It’s called Mont Chauve, which is 'Bald Mountain,' like Bald Mountain in Sun Valley. It used to have trees on top, but in the 17th century they cut down the trees to build France’s naval fleet. When you look at Mont Ventoux in the distance, you can see the white (rocks) and it seems like it’s snow-capped even in the summertime."

A figure in the background appears to be in mid-air. She said, "he kind of embodies that way that some people respond to the wind. Some people cower from it. And other people just embrace it."

On Friday December 28, Cobb will lead an artist walk at Gail Severn Gallery for the exhibit “Mistral: The legendary wind of Provence.”

Find Tom Michael on Twitter @Tom2Michael

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