In local parlance, the gardens and the Piraille district are known as ‘Pays des Choucas’ or ‘jackdawland’, named after the charcoal grey bird with pales eyes found in the area. For Fluide, Charlotte Beaudry has created a massive painting celebrating the bird-king. The colour palette is deliberately restrained; the background is a pale green-grey that gives the piece as a whole a slightly unsettling tone. She decided on a stylised interpretation of the birds, loosely based on jackdaws but also female blackbirds, which features on Thuin’s flag. Her composition suggests movement, like a film still. The birds in mid-flight seem to battle with the illusion of pictorial space. The artist reduces their appearance and limits realism, making her brushstrokes clearly visible. By emphasising silhouette over detail, and playing with the special limitations of this private home which acts as the painting’s frame, Beaudry hides as much as she reveals. The painting overall radiates a contagious, moving and brutal vitality that you cannot fail to react to. From Chant des Oiseaux to Rue Saint-Jacques or the bottom of the hanging gardens along the Biesmelle, the walker sees these silhouettes like suspended shadows; they are a trace of the scattered birds’ journey, like notes on a score of noise music. Sound also plays a role in Beaudry’s mural, look up and strain your ears- they are right there!

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