Homecoming in the Périgord Noir

With the sealed contract for the Zodiac Series in his pocket Johfra and Ellen travel through France. It is 1973 and they are looking for a new homeland, a landscape that better suits them. They go to the Dordogne, to the Périgord. They visit Montignac where the Lascaux cave is located. This cave is no longer accessible to the public. They follow the river Vézère and arrive at the village of Le Moustier with the impressive prehistoric cliff, La Roque-Saint-Christophe.

This area makes a big impression and they decide to look for a suitable accommodation in this region. They see an old water mill, Le Moulin de Peuch, in the village Fleurac, not far from Le Moustier. The condition of this building is not very good and they will have to significantly rebuilt and restored it. The region is beautiful and a house is always changable but the price is too high.


Remembrance of the Future (1987)

Witchessabbath 2 (1978)

The birth of the second Eve (1987)

In 1974 the tide turns. They sell well at the group exhibitions of the Metarealists. Johfra and Ellen return to the old mill. This mill is still for buying. They can buy the mill at a considerably lower price.

What follows is a move over a distance of 800 km. Johfra and Ellen have just moved as a large car stops in front of the mill. Gallery owner Walter Kamp makes his entrance. He has seen the exhibitions of the meta-realists and has become enthusiastic. Johfra shows him the triptych Unio Mystica. Ellen advises Walter to claim this painting, but he does not. Shortly thereafter, however, this triptych is sold. Walter is very angry with himself and buys directly the complete Zodiac series, of which at that time nine paintings have to be completed.


The adoration of Pan [triptich] (1979)

The greeting (1975)

The convocation (1978)

All this enables Johfra and Ellen to restore and rebuilt the mill. Both Johfra and Ellen will be provided with a large studio. Early eighties, a part of the building has been transformed into a gallery called Galerie La Licorne.

The area around Le Moustier provides much inspiration. In this period, the nature of the Dordogne can be seen in many paintings. During this period several paintings series are created, such as the Maldoror Series and the Fountain Series, but also the lesser known series like the Witchesportraits and the Witchessabbaths and the Ellen in Wonderland series. In 1979 he completed the immense triptych The adoration of Pan.


Witchesportrait
Madame Mandelip (1979)

Witchesportrait
The cry (1979)

Witchesportrait
Maria Magdalena

Witchesportrait
Arachne (1979)

In the mid-eighties, his work is changing, it is less dark in nature. There is room for fairytales and elves. He also allows himself to paint in a more loosely way, although the battle with the detail always remains. He remains the painter of the square decimeter.