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Le Petit Bateau

I read an article in Russh magazine just yesterday called ‘Find Utopia’. It explored the nuances of a society’s attempts to create a peaceful existence with the use of power, control and equality (equality in the view of communism that is). At the end of the article it had a short questionnaire asking how you might design your own ‘utopia’. Easy you think. I’d have a peaceful community with a healthy, balanced lifestyle that allowed one to be free to make their own choices.

But like with any flip of a coin, with the heads, comes the tails and immediately, you’re thrown into a kind of maze to which you can’t find a way out. What is equality, for example? what happens when someone’s ‘free choice’ directly harms someone else’s free choice … and so on. A government seat never looked less appealing. 

I managed to push the article to the back of my mind this afternoon to meet with the owners and founders of the Bondi arts-space, Le Petit Bateau. Anne-Sophie Ridelaire (AnSo), an art director from Paris, and her fiancé Gaetano Russo (Tano), an Italian boat designer, both of whom first met in the very building they’ve founded the garage gallery and workspace. 

After chatting to them for a few hours, covering all things coffee, festivals, arts, music, fashion, architettura fascista (yes it really happened), ….yesterday’s article came back to mind. 

Like anyone you’ve ever met who’s passionate about something (or someone) in their life, there’s a way they talk about it, (or them). Their use of language is inspired and their authentic self drifts into some kind of utopia. You can’t help to be drawn in. It’s effortlessly peaceful – and easy. 

That’s how I felt meeting this duo. Fresh, enlightened and inspired. No one changes a world, or even wants to, on their own but when you, as an individual, pour your energies into the things you do well, you’re in a zone, a peaceful place or as I’d like to now call it – utopia. 

AnSo and Tano have created such a place for Bondi locals. An open minded space for artists alike to go, create and network. Free, and void of judgement. They hold exhibitions, workshops/classes, pop-up events and now, they’re celebrating Le Petit Bateau’s 1 year anniversary with their very own festival showcasing the 20+ artists that use their space. Le Petit Festival is a showcase of all things arts, boats and fun under the Pyrmont Bridge on May 16. They ask only that you bring your good self  – and a small donation for their time. 

Find your utopia. 

Stay on S&TC for my interview with AnSo … coming up pronto! 


Le Petit Bateau


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